Public smoking ban takes full effect

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Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence has signed a commencement order, putting the ban on public smoking into full effect retroactive to December 11, 2017.

In fact, all the restrictions and limitations included in the Tobacco Control Act are now legally enforceable after the expiration of the grace period of six months since the legislation was passed in the National Assembly.

The ‘Tobacco Control (Commencement) Order 2017’, which was published in the Official Gazette on December 15, 2017, and signed by the Minister, states that “I appoint the 11th day of December 2017 as the day on which the Tobacco Control Act shall come into operation.”

The legislation will be enforced through the application of several penalties in the form of fines and prison sentences for ‘certain transgressions’. These range from a fine of $200,000 dollars for persons who breach the new regulations, along with 6 months imprisonment, to fines for business entities of up to $9M.

The legislation prohibits the smoking in public indoor places and in certain public outdoor spaces.

Any person who smokes in any place where smoking is prohibited commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars for the first offence, and twenty thousand dollars for any second or subsequent offence.

Furthermore, all advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products and electronic delivery systems are prohibited.

This, however, does not apply to a price list made available by a tobacco product retailer, depictions of tobacco products in the media, among other exceptions.

The Tobacco Control Act can be found here: http://parliament.gov.gy/chamber-business/bill-status/tobacco-control-bill-2017/

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