Businesses must display signs for new smoking ban

| 31/12/2009

(CNS): Although some business owners were under the impression that the tobacco law would take effect at midnight tonight is in fact already in place. Anyone smoking indoors in a public area as of today is breaking the law. Implementation of the law Cayman’s Tobacco Law, 2008 is in effect from Thursday, 31 December 2009 and government is reminding business owners that all legislated smoke-free areas must be clearly marked.

These include enclosed bars, restaurants and pool halls, parks, any commercial transport, public toilets and public transportation terminals (e.g. the cruise terminals) and all shops and shopping centres.  Tobacco vendors must also display the necessary signs according to the law.

A long time in coming, Cayman now joins a number of other countries around the world that have taken the initiative to clean up the air and help improve health.  Although the law was a disappointment to some anti-tobacco activists and health campaigners as it did not go far enough there are still restrictions and limitations now on where people can smoke.

Smoking areas must be at least 10ft away from the non-smoking areas and they cannot be in, or within 10ft of, any entrance, exit or any other openings of the enclosed section. The Law defines ‘enclosed’ as a place which has a full or partial roof and where the sides are at least 50% covered with walls, windows, blinds or curtains.

Despite the fact that the legislation has been in place for well over a year business owners are still being given time to comply with the Law. The Public Health Department, in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, Cancer Society and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA), has developed sample signs for tobacco dealers and restaurants and bars. Officials have also met with members from the business community to explain the new legislation and its impact on businesses.

 “We are all working together to ensure compliance, and although we urge business owners to have the necessary provisions in place by the end of this year, we are also realistic. As such, we will give business owners until 30 April 2010 to have the necessary, permanent signs in place,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar said.

Similarly, tobacco dealers – retailers and wholesale distributors – have until 30 April 2010 to register with the Medical Officer of Health (Public Health Department). This will be an annual registration and dealers must display their Certificate of Registration (similar to a Trade and Business License). There is a once-off non-refundable application fee of $100, and the annual registration fees are as follows: CI$500 for a retailer; CI$750 for a cigar bar; and CI$5,000 for a wholesale distributor.

Those whose primary customers are minors (children under 18 years), for example indoor play areas; recreational facilities such as gyms, cinemas, parks (e.g. Botanic Park) or games rooms, and vendors inside health care, educational and cultural facilities (e.g. the Harquail Theatre) will not be able to apply for a tobacco registration.

For many people the legislation did not go far enough and ban smoking in other public places that are outside such as the beaches and parks. However, even in what is considered a diluted form the legislation is expected to save lives. Research in other jurisdictions has revealed that smoking bans can reduce deaths from heart related diseases by as much as 35%.

Application forms for the tobacco registry are available from the Public Health Department at the Cayman Islands Hospital in the New Year. For more information on the Tobacco Law and Regulations, business owners can contact the Public Health Department at 244-2621.

Sample signs are available from the Public Health Department. For more information call 244-2621. The law and regulations are also available on

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Cayman Islands on this wonderful law!

    • Yeah, right... says:

      Great law if it meant more than the paper it’s printed on…

      Take a venue like Sunset House – under the law, it should be smoke free – it has curtains to cover more than 50% of the exterior…  Granted they are only used when they need coverage, but the law is the law…

      But the owners won’t enforce it since they got the enforcers on their side to say it ain’t applicable.

      As a parent and a member of the public, I say, speak wid unna feet.  STOP GOING TO THESE "OUTDOOR" BARS that think they are not affected.

      I would kill to see Sunset, Rackams and others smoke free – until they are, I am cutting my business and calling for all others to do the same…

      (Only hope CNS has the gutzpa to publish this – it is my opinion, not yours, and if you don’t, I am guessing you are afraid you might lose an advertiser…)

      CNS Note: Wewill not only publish it but we will forgive your outrageous suggestion….many wouldn’t. Sometime people test our patience….really….


      • Yup.... says:

        Thank you for clarifying that, CNS.  Some media are afraid to lose advertisers, and by answering the call to stand up regardless, you have shown yourself to be a step above the other media on the island.  Thanks.  Yes it was an outrageous suggestion, but it was calling the situation as it was in the hope of getting such a clarification.

        Thanks again!!

        Not to test patience, but to test a real situation.


      • Anonymous says:

        I’m sure these barswon’t miss your business. They would miss the business of the hundreds of customers, both locals and tourists that go there to eat, drink and smoke in an open outdoor environment. There is a specific no smoking area set aside and the curtains are only ever used on rare occasions.

        I don’t moan when you and your cronies are polluting the air with your vile language and trash talking, so you lot shouldn’t when somebody is polluting a much smaller space of air over the other side of an open air venue.

        • Get a life says:

          The poster was 100% accurate.

          The day their vile language and trash talking has a proven link to killing you, I am sure they will be more considerate than you obviously are and will immediately stop.

          Take your ash-mouthed ignorance elsewhere, please! 

          • Anonymous says:

            Think you’re missing the point idiot. Somebody smoking 50 feet away won’t kill you, no matter how dumb you are.

            • Incigerator says:

              OK a*****e, there are very few ways to be 50 feet away from smokers at most outside bars if they can, and do, smoke throughout.

              May you enjoy your slow painful and sadly ignorant suffering at the hands of one of the many smoke induced diseases if this is really your thinking!!!

              Second hand smoke is WAY more harmful since the innocents don’t have the benefit of the filter you use to "protect" yourself…

              The poster has points, and also has the right to protect his health. 

            • Hmmm.. says:

              Perhaps the smoke has already killed all your braincells…  Sorry, clearly it has…

      • Anonymous says:

         Good grief.

        I am not a smoker and I would NOT boycott Sunset House or Rackams or any other establishment that allows its patrons to smoke and I would call for all others to continue to frequent these establishments.

        "I would kill"… apparently that is the new way to handle all differences ofopinion in the Cayman Islands.  

        • Night Flyer says:

          Well said.

        • WOW!!! says:

          Perhaps they should have said "I’d die…" and you could have stepped up, assisted, and been yet another unsolved crime in the Cayman society…