CITIZENS ACTION FOR PRINCIPLE AND INTEGRITY (CAPI) is describing the move by the government to setup a taskforce to monitor the impact of the ban on public smoking on the tourism sector as myopic, and discriminating, considering the ban has far reaching adverse implications for the business in general, particularly the micro business sector.
According to co-convenor Dennis Meadows, it’s CAPI’s view that the principles of participatory governance should have directed the Minister to facilitate a debate of the regulations by both houses of parliament, despite not being compelled by statute. Additionally, a taskforce of sector group leaders/reps and sufficient public education should have been pursued to guide the implementation process. The government’s implementation strategy smacks of reverse governance.
The regulations as it stand are repressive to the interest of vendors and small business players whose operation and livelihood will be impacted. Section 15, 1 of the regulations reads; every person who sells tobacco in or at the entrance or exit of the places; a) health facilities, b) sports, athletic or recreational facilities for the use of the public, c) government owned or occupied building or premises or, c) educational institutions.
“With the exception of the educational institutions (primary level), we reject the foregoing section. It is beyond the Rubicon of absurdity, as the sale of tobacco, a legal substance, should not be deemed a criminal offense as the vendor has no control over the use the product after sale.”
CAPI notes that while it commends and supports the government for taking the bold move to legislate the ban on public smoking, it implores Minister Ferguson to suspend the ban while he ensures parliamentary participation in a review of the regulations.
Posted By :Hugh Fagan
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