St. Lucia Warns of Harsh Penalties for Smoking in Public Places

CASTRIES, St Lucia – The St. Lucia government Monday reminded businesses that they could face up to EC$10,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) on summary conviction for flouting legislation aimed at preventing persons from smoking in business and workplaces.

faceSMOKEIn addition, an individual faces up to EC$5,000 for breaches of the Public Health (Smoking Control) Amendment of 2019 and Regulations of 2020.

The reminder by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs comes one day before the island joins the international community in observing World No Tobacco Day on Tuesday under the theme “ “Tobacco: Threat to our environment”.

In a statement, the ministry said that the Public Health (Smoking Control) Amendment of 2019 and Regulations of 2020 are important smoking control laws here which offer protection from the harms of smoking.

According to the legislation, smoking cigarettes, other electronic devices, or any other substance is now prohibited in businesses and workplaces, public places like bars, restaurants, parks, and beaches, likewise in public transports, taxis, and terminals.

The sale of cigarettes to and by minors is also prohibited, and cigarettes can no longer be sold within proximity to schools, educational, health, religious, and sports facilities.

The ministry said that it was reminding business and the population in general that the six-month grace period for adjustment and compliance ended in December 2020 and that businesses should ensure compliance for signage and other requirements.

“Everybody needs to be aware of these smoking control laws and support the smoking restrictions to ensure our health and safety; fines for offenses are up to EC$5,000.00 for individuals or EC$10,000.00 for business entities on summary conviction.

“In this era of COVID-19, smoking and exposure to smoking are unhealthy practices since they are associated with adverse outcomes for those who contract the disease. Let us all play our part to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all of us and the generations to come,” the statement added.