SAAC: Young Saint Lucians Turning To Electronic Cigarettes

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Saint Lucia’s Substance Advisory Council Secretary  (SAAC) is concerned over young people now turning to non-traditional methods of smoking.

They include the use of electronic cigarettes.

SAAC Deputy Director, Joanna Joseph-Henry, says it’s a ‘big concern’.

“We still have too many people smoking,” she told a panel discussion Monday on the National Television Network (NTN).

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The discussion took place in observance of World No-Tobacco Day.

Joseph-Henry spoke of the need to reduce the initiation of young people into tobacco use.

Saint Lucia has revised its public health act in regard to smoking.

As a result, the law now regulates smoking in public places, both indoor and outdoor, as well as in work areas.

Joseph-Henry explained that the purpose of the new regulations is to reduce exposure to tobacco smoke.

She noted that the legislation defines smoking in a general way.

“We want people to understand that it’s not just the smoking of tobacco that is now restricted,” she observed.

“It is smoking of any kind of product including those electronic devices,” Joseph-Henry told NTN.

As a result, she said it is no longer acceptable for people to walk around with a lighted cigarette or any other such device in their hand.

In this regard, Joseph- Henry pointed out that penalties under the new legislation are very stiff.

She disclosed that on summary conviction, a violator can pay a fine of up to five thousand dollars.

But for a business entity, the fine is up to ten thousand dollars.

The SAAC official said that the grace period for enforcing the new legislation has already expired.

“So people had up to December last year, which is six months following the enactment of the legislation, to adapt, make changes, put up their signs – especially in the business places, restaurants, entertainment areas,” she told NTN.

“This also applies to buses and public transport, especially for the risk of second hand smoke,” Joseph-Henry stated.

 

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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