by Fernelle Neptune, Ministry of Health
As part of implementation activities for smoke-free spaces, the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat within the Ministry of Health recently visited various health facilities and government buildings to install and distribute the legally required “no smoking” signs.
The initiative is expected to restrict public smoking and smoking in other enclosed places.
Deputy Coordinator of the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat Joanna Joseph-Henry says she is pleased with this initiative given that it will not only control smoking in certain areas but also protect individuals from second-hand smoking.
“The signs remind persons that certain areas are smoke free zones. Smoke-free applies to all substances: cigarettes, any other kind of substance whether it is legal or illegal and also any electronic devices.”
Joseph-Henry says this initiative of smoke-free spaces is expected to help individuals to be empowered and say no to public smoking. It is also the hope that individuals who smoke can seek the assistance needed.
“In our activities going around to different communities we found that this initiative has been welcomed by individuals who have wanted to have the power to say to persons smoking around them that they are not allowed to smoke in public. We expect people to be cooperative and also appeal to individuals who may have some level of dependency to seek help. We have been offering services from last year at our various facilities to help individuals who may be addicted and may want to quit and are struggling.”
The installing of “no smoking” signs took place at the Owen King EU Hospital, Entrepot Wellness Centre, Castries Wellness Centre, Gros-Islet Polyclinic, National Insurance Corporation NIC Building and the Sir Stanislaus James Building.
The smoke-free spaces legislation was implemented in June 2019 and ensures that smoking is banned in public spaces