Hold your Breath?

| 23/10/2009

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Tobacco Law.  Actually you might be better off if you did, as you will be breathing second hand smoke for a while longer.

Once again government has delayed the Tobacco Law and once again I question if there is really the political will to see this important law, which is already passed, enacted.   

I can see no reason why the regulations are not completed and in place unless it is due to a total lack of will on behalf of our elected politicians, or perhaps the pressure applied by the bar and restaurant owners on these officials.  The bottom line is the health of the people of Cayman is at issue and it is past time for the regulations to be put in place and/or the law to be enacted and enforced.  I certainly hope the delays are not taking place in order to water down the bill to accommodate the special interest groups that put personal profit above public health.

If we do not have this Law enacted by the New Year it will be obvious how unimportant the well being of the populace is to our elected officials. 

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  1. Please, pull my finger... says:


    Smoking Gun: Just One Cigarette Has Harmful Effect On Arteries Of Young Healthy Adults



  2. Anonymous says:

    I think the reason for the delay might be that our new Government have cooler heads and realize that there are sections of the bill that are unreasonable and unenforceable… It would be my guess that they’re looking for an amendment to correct those problems before enacting it.

    I don’t disagree with the passing of such a bill, personally I have always been surprised by the zeal because without this legislation I can assure you that almost every eatting establishment and hotel on the island already has a no smoking policy. In fact… come to think of it… retail stores, movie theater, airport… car rental agencies… lobby spaces… and all major offices all over the island … already have … NO SMOKING POLICIES… about the only place you can smoke is a bar or outdoors.

    There is also the issue of retail sales, can anybody think of any place where cigarettes are sold … where you can simply pick them up and take them to the counter? NO !!!… They are and always have been… behind the counter.

    So whatexactly does this bill do. Bans smoking and controls the sale…

    Well off the top of my head, 99% of the places I can think of already don’t allow smoking and… the sale is already controlled…

    Before you go all postal on me… I started by saying… on it’s face I am not against the concept… but… this is a little like passing a law in Cayman banning whale hunting…

    As far as I can tell about the ONLY places that will be affected by this law are half a dozen bars…





  3. Mozzie Fodder says:

    I smoked for 10 years and gave up. I see both sides of the argument but I do now believe that smoking should be restricted in public places.

    That said I do not care if you do smoke, have a thought for those around you and pick up your damn butts instead of dropping them in the sea, burying them in the sand or flicking them out of your car window.

    • Anonymous says:

      Restricted how?  This is an outright ban. 

      • No says:

        Not if the restriction is between 3am and 2am.  Then we would preserve part of your "right" to poison us.

        • Anonymous says:

           The only people mentioning the right to blow smoke in peoples faces are the few people arguing for a public ban.

  4. Anonymous says:


    As a smoker I have no problem from countries banning it from enclosed places, I understand the argument (although I don’t agree with it).

    That being said, to ban if from outdoor places, such as the public beach and outdoor patios (certain sections at least) goes beyond crazy.

    In some respects I wish every country would just get over it and make tobacco illegal. In many states in the US you can’t smoke ANYWHERE in public. I am not talking about just one place, but ANYWHERE in public unless you are in car or your house. Guess what, that only endangers more people because instead of smoking outside while you watch your children play, now they can ONLY smoke in the car, which of course hurts the children. Yes, there are some states with laws banning such, but it isn’t all of them.

    They won’t however ban it as the $$$ is too good to collect taxes on, upwards of 150%! But I warn you that the next attack is coming on fast food (many US states already have a fat tax), which by the way obesity and obesity related diseases kills WAY more each year than second hand smoking.


  5. Anonymous says:

    These are all the arguments that bounced around the UK and Ireland before banning smoking in work and public places, and now most people, even Smokers agree that it is the best thing that happened.  The bars suddenly became pleasant places, and you do not go home at the end of the night with clothes smelling of cigarette smoke, restaurants were places to enjoy your food without the table next to you lighting up between every course.  Workplace smoking has been history for a long time in most organisations, but what it really did was make smokers do what most smokers shoudl have done, but always seemed to be selfish about it, and take their habit into the open air.

    The key benefit you have on the Islands is that is not exactly a pain to sit outside, and most people will do this anyway. Now, when it is below 32 degrees, and you still go to the outside smoking area – you do have a problem!  Than you’ll realise who your friends are!

    However long you delay, it’s coming.  The longer you delay, the longer the risk to the staff that have to work in these environments – and it’s a weak argument saying they choose to work there, so tough.

    • Anonymous says:

       Weak argument how?  Go to the people who work at Havana Club and tell them they can’t work there cause its bad for their health.  See how ridiculous you sound.

      • Anonymous says:

        bar staff are behinf the legislation 100%. Do you think they enjoy working in a smelly, dirty, dangerous environment?

        • Anonymous says:

          I was talking about havana club for a reason, not bar staff in general.   Can you even back up your statement?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m all for the banning of smoking indoors, provided the following stipulation:

    Businesses may still choose to allow smoking, provided they pay a fee for the right to have indoor smoking and publicise the fact at the entrance to their establishment. Without a smoking ban, businesses are still free to independently ban smoking, and I think with a smoking ban the proprietor should be able to make the decision to pay an annual fee allowing the continuation of this practice (it’s their business, let them run it as they see fit and potential customers can make their own choices).

    I think this would be the bestof both worlds, given the ban has already been passed but not yet implemented. Business owners may choose to still allow smoking for a nominal fee, at the cost of potentially losing non-smoking customers to other venues while maintaining their clientele who continue to smoke. Other businesses may choose not to allow smoking, potentially losing some of their smoking clientele while creating an incentive for non-smoking customers.

    Preferably this could have been done without the intervention of a law limiting smoking venues – all the anger/annoyance/hysteria I see posted should really have been directed towards restaurant/bar/club owners. They are the ones who had/have the freedom to allow or disallow smoking in their establishments, so you should have spoken up with your wallet and comment cards rather than spending so much time decrying smokers. It’s their right to choose to smoke – it’s your right to choose to not go to a business that allows smoking indoors, or to try and convince that business they would be better serves (and make a higher profit) if they were to ban smoking themselves. However, I suppose it’s now a rather moot point, or will be, once this law is inacted.

    • Anonymous says:

      employers can pay a fee so that their employess can work in a dangerous unhealthy environment????….. i think  you are missing the whole point of why this legislation has been brought in…..

      • Anonymous says:

        Employees are aware of the environment they will be working in when they sign a contract. Police officers know that they might be put in dangerous situations, construction workers are aware of accidents that might happen on the job, cab/bus drivers of road accidents. Many jobs have inherent health risks (flour dust in bakeries can cause similar symptoms to "black lung" that coal miners encounter, for example). To avoid the risk, don’t work in that establishment, and let you boss know you won’t work if he makes it a smoking environment.  Are you saying we need to protect these bar/restaurant employees because they don’t know any better? The point of the law is to promote general public health, I understand that. My issue is that these options should be left to the owners, who would change their policies (or not) depending on the reactions of their customers (and employees). There was no need for the law if some of you would just have the courage to stand up for what you believed in, but instead chose to ban indoor smoking outright and voice your indignation online. Grow a pair next time.

        • Anonymous says:

          there are risks to everything we do in life and we should all try our best to reduce these risks. Banning smoking in a working environment is basic way of minimising the risk to workers.

          I  recommend you vist a lung cancer ward sometime to see a bar worker dying for what you believe are smokers rights.

          You have the right to kill yourself through smoking but not others… i can’t put it any simpler

          • Anonymous says:

            Minimizing risk would be having better ventilation in enclosed areas.  People are aware of the risks of smoking.  Your imaginary bartender could have been a smoker.  Your saying smoking should be banned in a bar full of smokers.  Since its a completely voluntary system, this is a practical example.  Unlike imaginary bartenders dying for peoples rights.

            Its not about ‘smokers rights’.  Smokers don’t inherently have rights.  People should.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I feel that it is anti-smoking legislation disguisedas anti-‘second hand smoke’ legislation, otherwise it would have taken this form.  People just won’t admit it.  Everything makes sense except what’s the rational behind the fee for allowing smoking?  

  7. Anonymous says:

    The best thing about smoking bans is the huddles of sick looking smokers outside offices and bars.  Their pained expressions and dulled skin are the best anti-smoking ads going.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is also the best place to socialize and meet people of the opposite sex. 

      • Anonymous says:

        If sick looking people with dull skin and low self-esteem are your thing.

        • Anonymous says:

          Since when did smokers all have low self-esteem? Or look completely unhealthy? I think you need to get your bias in check, and approach this situation from a more rational, and less emotional, manner. Comments like this only serve to fan the flames of another pointless, and unproductive, argument.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Re: Those who complain about smoke/smokers: Let’s have a referendum.

    But we disqualify from voting:

    1. Anyone who, for other than a medical condition, is overweight or has an overweight minor child.

    2. Anyone who frequently buys or eats red meat, eggs, bacon, fast-food, fried foods, fatty foods or other such fare.

    3. Any who frequently exceeds the speed limit, alone or with family in the vehicle.

    4. Those who practice unsafe sex.

    5. Anyone who is, or whose minor child is, past due for: a blood pressure check, recommended immunisations, mammogram, Pap smear, physical exam, colorectal screening, or prostate screening.

    Ok, now that we just eliminated 90% of the voters by cutting out those whose lifestyle embodies consuming or doing unhealthy stuff and who endanger themselves and possibly family and others with their poor lifestyle choices the referendum will be pretty fair and unhypocritical.

    To those who match criteria 1-5: Get real! Be honest! Why not just say you do not like smoke and being around smokers and leave it at that rather than joining the politically-correct bandwagon and make it sound like you have such a deep concern for health?   

    • Anonymous says:

      it’s not just about health, what about basic manners and common sense?

      saying you have the right to smoke in front of others is like saying i’ve got the right spit in your face, clothes, food…? what the difference? t

      here are zero benefits to smoking for anybody?

      this is not even a debate! this has been discussed and settled years ago internationally….. but the real question is why our gov is not implementing the ban?


      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve never seen a person act like someone spat in their food because they were smoking, therefore its not common sense.  We should notimplement this without debate because a group somewhere decided on this without any input from anyone in Cayman.  What world are you from?  How old are you? 

        • Anonymous says:

          you’rte actually right it’s not like spitting is someones food.. it’s worse… it can bring on an asthma attack for some people

          p.s i’m from plantet earth and i consider myslef an intelligent adult who considers the rights of others… what about you?

    • Hey, she said she was single... says:

      Huh? How moronic.

      When people start shoving their red meat into my mouth in public, when people start injecting their fat cells into my body, and when people start having unsafe sex and splattering me with their bodily fluids while I’m eating in a restaraunt, THEN I’ll demand new laws for all that stuff too. For now, however, it’s the smokers who need legislation because they keep placing the exhaust from their insane habit into my body when I’m out in public.

      I can’t believe there are people who still think it’s okay to smoke around others in public. If so many smokers weren’t such inconsiderate jerks, smoking bans wouldn’t even be necessary. But they are. Talk about clueless.

      • Anonymous says:

         Besides for issues with assault, I think you’ll find that businesses that do such things will quickly go out of business.  Some bars/clubs ban smoking voluntarily, some allow it.  Just don’t go to them and stop telling others what to do.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think it is vital that this health protection measure is delayed to coincide with an insignificant PR driven day such as "Anti Smoking Day 2011" or "Cancer Month 2012".  Legislation must be timed in this way.  In the meantime businesses can continue profiting from environments that contribute to excrutiatingly painful deaths. 

    Thank you for governing us so well  . . . . .

  10. Anonymous says:

    When are we going to place equally strict limitations on drinking so public health isn’t affected by drunk driving?
    When are we going to place equally strict limits on vehicle emissions so public health isn’t as affected by the awful fumes? Get off your high horse already…

    • Anonymous says:

      there are already strict laws on drink driving and vehicle emissions….

      smokers have not got the right to pollute the air of others…. it’s common sense, not that you would know about that……

      • Anonymous says:

        "Equally" strict is the point I was striving for. And it’s laughable you think vehicle emissions are strictly regulated here, have you seen some of the cars with black, thick smoke pouring from the tailpipe? Let’s just be honest here and call it what it is. People don’t like smoking/smokers/smell of smoke. Because the whole health concern is quite frankly, a load of BS (unless of course you make solely healthy choices in your life and avoid all else, in which case I retract that statement). Yes, smoking and second-hand smoke can affect your health. But so does cholestoral, alcohol, poor driving skills, lack of exercise, etc. As for common sense (and personal responsibility), as a smoker, I choose to smoke in open-air environments to mitigate how my smoking affects others.

    • Anonymous says:

      We do have strict laws on drunk driving and they are strictly enforced.   I agree with you it is time that we regulate emissions also.  Thank you for your thoughtful input.

      • Anonymous says:

         If it were the same strictness, there would be no drinking in public places.

      • Anonymous says:

        …."and they are strictly enforced".

        Really? All the time? In every situation?

    • Anonymous says:

      And what about bad food? 

      • Anonymous says:

        because that is a personal choice and effect only the consumer directly, smoking directoy effects non smokers, how would you like it if i spat in your food in front of you? have i got the right to that? …zzzzz…. smokers obviously need some basic education too….

        • Anonymous says:

          Effect only the consumer directly? Tell that to my monthly premiums for health insurance because they have to deal with smokers’ lungs, your cholesterol-plugged arteries, a drinker’s damaged liver and the various injuries from car accidents. Smoking certainly is a vice, and does have a negative impact on society, but until other vices are equally acceptable to speak out against (I’m particularly looking forward to the day we get to ridicule and ostracise fatties!) I’ll keep thinking of general anti-smoker arguments as particularly hypocritical. But why don’t you take your basic education and naive belief those other "personal choices" don’t affect others and keep on singing your sad song…

          • Anonymous says:

            more like you’re sad song….you are the one advocating peoples ‘right’ to smoke in front other people…..

            everything you do in this world has an adverse effect… for example people who jog too much can end up with arthritis… following you’re logic, we should then put restrictions on that too????


            from some of the posts on here it  isobvious smoking has an adverse effect on intelligence too….

        • Anonymous says:

          It doesn’t always effect non-smokers, it depends on the circumstance.  What happens if its voluntary with the ‘victim’ knowing that there’s going to be smoke like in a cigar lounge.  That’d be like going to a night club and complaining about the loud music. 

  11. please, pull my finger says:

    This is a clear example of how negligent and incompetent both our political parties are. This is a no-brainer that should have been taken care of ten years ago.

    "Don’t know and don’t care" just about sums it up.

  12. Anonymous says:

    you should do a timeline of the actions and excuses given by the various politiciansinvolved with this over the last 3-4 years… it is a prime example of the incompetence of the elected officials on this island…….

  13. Sam Putt Putt says:

    Very thought provoking Mr. Layman. But I think it is quite obvious already how unimportant the well being of the populace is to our elected officials.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I would like it if you did not care what was good for my health.

    • Anonymous says:

       That’s OK, I don’t. I care about my own and my family’s health and don’t wish to breathe second-hand smoke.

      • Anonymous says:

         I completely agree however Cigar lounges are affected by this law, and I believe outdoor bars too?  This shouldn’t effect your families health, and anyone not wanting to second hand smoke would not go into a cigar lounge anyways.

        • Anonymous says:

          what about the employees?? an employer has got a basic responsibility to protect his employees and not put them in ahrmful environment.. that how this whole issue arose?……zzzzz

          why are even debating this….zzzz..?

          this a debate which was settled 10-15 years ago…. in the civilised world.

          • Anonymous says:

            So what makes a place civilized?  People agreeing with you? 

            • Anonymous says:

              no, just rationoal intelligent debate,…..but unfortunalty this debate is over in case you haven’t noticed….. now its all about implementation

              but good luck with your arguments… maybe you will pushing for the right of teachers to smoke at work in front a class full of kids……

              • Anonymous says:

                 Too bad you were wrong

              • Anonymous says:

                The debate isn’t over, look at the comments on this page. 

                • Anonymous says:

                  yeah some people still debate whether we landed on the moon……. big deal…… the debate on smoking in public is over….. for anyone with a brain

          • kd says:


            The first modern, nationwide tobacco ban was imposed by the Nazi party under orders from Adolf Hitler in 1941. Yes, what a civilised society that was.

            Moving on to what countries you might possibly be referring to as civilised:

            * Alberta/Quebec/Ontario, Canada – ~2006 or 2008 comprehensive bans were instated.
            * Denmark – ban is partial & causing such controversy it is up for revision this year (2009).
            * France…. Ha ha…. Kidding, they actually have had a marginally comprehensive ban in place since 2008.
            * Germany (since Hitler obviously) has some of Europe’s highest smoking rates. In 2007/2008 a few restrictions were put into place, but controllers stop work @ 10pm so enforcement in nightclubs is virtually nil (or nein J).
            * Greece – Strict law passed in July 2009.
            * Ireland – first country in the world to institute an outright ban on smoking in workplaces in 2004.
            * Italy – nationwide smoking ban since 2005.
            * New Zealand – law became effective in 2004 that no smoking allowed in indoor, public workplaces & inside hospitality venues (e.g. bars, restaurants). Recently (2007) a campaign was started to remove tobacco sales from the country by 2017.
            * Norway – smoking banned in public buildings since 2004.
            * Spain – partial ban passed in 2006.
            * Switzerland – partial ban instituted in 2008.
            * UK – effective across the board since 2007.
            And finally, good ol’ USA – as of yet there is no nationwide, federal smoking ban. As of October 2009, only 24 states have smoking bans applicable to public places (including bars & restaurants).
            N.B. In Israel it has been illegal to smoke in enclosed public places since 1983, however smoking still remains very prevalentin public places, especially bars & clubs.

            And in the biggest *shocker* of all (please note my sarcasm), in Iran (& most other Islamic countries) there has been a tobacco ‘fatwa’ (translation: Islamic legal pronouncement) in place since 1891. Also, since roughly the16th century it has been against Islamic religion that Muslims use tobacco… but, alas, many Westerners sadly don’t consider these cultures to be “civilised” enough.

            So to put it succinctly: many ‘civilised’ countries have instituted “bans” of a sort, but majority of them are not very strictly enforced.  Your claim that “in the civilised world this debate was settled 10 – 15 years ago” is false. Very few places in the world actually have legislation in place that is not being debated or revised & those that do were only recently passed. 


    • Anonymous says:

      Believe me when I say that I don’t give two hoots about your health.  But you selfish and self-obsessed XXXXX, I do care abou the health of my kids and other people who don’t smoke so please stop smoking in public places.

      • Anonymous says:

        So if I’m sitting at royal palms outside, and your kids are there too, I’m killing your kids?  I wont be able to smoke anywhere on seven mile beach if its banned in public places?  I say that your being selfish.