Prison still working towards smoking ban

| 30/05/2013

smoking.jpg(CNS): With tobacco one of the many commodities that play a part in the underworld prison economy and smoking a common habit in the monotony of prison life the move by the local prison service to gradually ban smoking in the local prisons is more than just a move towards healthy prisoners. In a release from government marking World No Tobacco Day on Friday, officials were focusing on thehealth and safety aspects, however, of a tobacco ban at HMP Northward and said work has already begun on a phased basis to create a smoke free environment in the prison. As the local tobacco law bans smoking in all public places an implementation committee was establish last year to help the prison comply.

"The decision to make HM prisons smoke free was made for both health and safety reasons, as well as to be compliant with the Tobacco Law 2008 and Regulation 2010. Given the serious health consequences of smoking and second hand smoke, we considered it to be the right thing to do for our prisoners and staff,” said Aduke Natalie Caesar Josephs acting Deputy Director of prisons.

How the prison which struggles to prevent inamtes from smoking ganja as it is will enforce the ban remains to be seen, however but while there will still be designated smoking areas in the prison exempted from the non-smoking policy for the time being the goal is for the prisons to be totally smoke free by 2014. This includes a no smoking policy for staff. The prison system will provide counselling and therapeutic assistance to help people cope when the no tolerance policy comes fully into effect under the new prison director expected next month.

Meanwhile, government officials are organizing various events to mark the day and focusing on Article 13 of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which calls for a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.

Comprehensive advertising bans have been found to positively impact the numbers of people who decide to start or to quit smoking. Statistics have shown that banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco demand. For this reason such a step is considered to be a tobacco control “best buy”. The Cayman Islands is already a party to the FCTC and the Tobacco Law 2008, imposes a comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship. 

Although one of the first countries in the Caribbean to enact anti-tobacco legislation to ensure a smoke-free environment for all residents and visitors according to a recent local health survey 15% of the population aged 25-64 still smokes tobacco. The Healthy Nation 2012 survey also found that men are twice as likely to smoke tobacco as women (20.7% and 9% respectively). Among those that smoke, the majority (67.1%) smoke daily. Among women 35-44 years of age, 79.35% of those surveyed said they smoke daily as compared to 52.4% of men in the same age group.

international statistics show that the global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 die from breathing second-hand smoke.  Unless the world acts against tobacco, smoking will kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030.  Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally. It is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults world-wide.

“This is a global problem, but also something that can affect us all as individuals.   I encourage everyone to take a stance against smoking today, before it is too late,” urged the Medical Officer of Health, Dr Kiran Kumar. 

Dr Kumar said the Healthy Nation Survey showed that 86.7% of both sexes report noticing health warnings on cigarette packages and 72% of them thought about quitting after reading the warning labels.

As a part of this year's World No Tobacco Day observance, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and the Public Health Department have launched a poster competition in the schools, whereby students are encouraged to create images that depict the harmful effects smoking has on the body. There will also be a series of presentations and other messages that focus on the negative effects of tobacco, shared with the public through media and schools.

For more information, contact Therese Prehay in the Public Health Department on 244-2632.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Solitary confinement.  No mingling.  No family visits.  No cigarettes.  No TV.  No radio.  Nothing but four stinking walls for a full sentence.  And no time off for "good behaviour".  Just add more time on for those that are not fully compliant.  We have no need to adopt a wishy-washy liberal model that has failed elsewhere at great expense.  Let's make jail cheap and horrific.

  2. Just Commentin' says:

    I intensely abhor half-truths and sensationalism. While I shall fully agree that smoking is a dire threat to good health and has much potential to trim some years off your life, some of what is contained in the article is purely sensationalist and is a very widely used line among scare-mongering anti-tobacco lobbyists.

    Let's dissect this and reveal the absurdity:

    1. "International statistics show that the global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year…" Fact: You will not find even one single instance where the cause of death of any these 6 million people is listed as "smoking". The official cause of death of  many of these people may be diseases with a strong correlation to smoking; however, the implication of the statement is that smoking is the cause of 6 million "needless deaths" or other such clap-trap. But is this really the truth? Nope, it is not!  If these people do not die of tobacco-related health problems may we assume that they will live forever? Nope! That is equally absurd. The truth is that every single one of these 6 million people will die anyway! The truth is that tobacco did not "kill" 6 million people that would have otherwise not have died at some point. The truth is that tobacco may have lead to 6 million people dying prematurely.  They would have died anyway, they simply died a bit earlier because they smoked.

    The average number of years smoking is said to cut from life is 10 years. (More or less, depending on whose figures your accept.) Hell, if you want sensational, six million children die of hunger every year, but I don't see a whole lot of legislation addressing that issue! Why is smoking called an "epidemic" but not hunger? Smokers have a choice, these children do not! Very screwed up values we have, eh?

    2. "Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally". Same implication. Same half-truth. The truth, the whole story is that  tobacco use is probably the single most preventable cause of "premature" death globally. A BIG difference! But it certainly sounds more compelling and ominous (sensational) to use the former statement. No?

    3. "(Tobacco use) is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults world-wide."  Again the same implication: that these people would all be alive if it were not for tobacco. Not 100% true. A portion of them would have died of other non-natural causes, the rest of natural causes: all of them will eventually die so we are not "saving" 10% of the population from death if "the world acts against tobacco".

    We will all die sometime, quitting smoking only postpones the inevitable. The responsible approach is to emphasize the whole truth and nix the sensationalist rubbish: Is it not sufficient to say that tobacco on the average will cut your life span short by about almost 14%? Death due to tobacco-related diseases in many cases tends to be a horrible and often slow and agonising way to die. So, if you are a tobacco user it is a good chance that you will die badly.  The clincher is that for every 10 people who die from a smoking-related disease, 20 times that number will suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking.  Moreover, smoking-related illnesses tend to be big-time party-poopers: cancer, heart disease, stroke, and really fun lung diseases like emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction. Smoking must be a horrible addiction to suffer from because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 69% of smokers want to quit completely!  My point is that these are sobering, meaningful facts rather than sensationalist factoids and are 100% transparent truths.  There is no need for sensational half-truths, the facts will do quite nicely.

    I absolutely believe that adult smokers should be allowed to pursue their vice without undue pressure; however, they should not be allowed to endanger others, including children in their smoke-filled households, through exposure to secondhand smoke.  By the same token, my air quality should not be lessened by multi-vehicle families and voracious energy consumers who run their A/C 24/7. My environment should not be damaged by irresponsible self-indulgent power gluttons with huge carbon footprints! Hardly anyone seems to single these morons out for castigation, but they are far, far more dangerous to the future of humanity than smokers!

    And why is it that more people don't get their knickers in a knot about the poor and unhealthy lifestyles a lot of non-smokers live? According to statistics being obese and having high blood pressure trims almost 7 years from the average male lifespan. Not many people rail against the global lazy lard-butt epidemic. I guess smokers are an easy target and you have to eat, right? Sheesh! Go figure!

    • Anonymous says:

      Just out of sheer curiosity, do you support the legalization of marijuana?

      Because I detect a trace of that oozing liberal bile, and I suspect there likely could be layer of hypocricy hiding behind this self rigious post.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't really care if someone chooses to do something that causes them to die early and die of a smoking related desease that makes their last two years on this earth horribly painful. They are free to choosethat fate.


      However, the things I care about are:

      – their disgusting habit of throwing their butts on the streets and sidewalks.

      – stinking up the elevators after one of their very many smoke breaks during the working day.

      – clogging up our health care system with unnecessary care for cancer and emphazema.

      – missing work due to smoking related sickness.



    • Anonymous says:

      please keep smoking dude (more the better.)…. but don't smoke in a public place….. it is dirty and rude……….

    • Anonymous says:

      typical smoker…not the brightest penny in the pond…..

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why don't we force them to become vegetarians or vegans at the same time…. brilliant government thinking!!

    Not that I'm in favor of having the prison in some sort of vacation spot, but this sort of Nannyism is getting a bit much.

    Just want you want, a bunch of tofu eating nicotine craved inmates…


    • Cayman Mama says:

      There are private prisons in California that have a vegan lifestyle. Studies have shown the inmates are much less violent than those served a steady diet of meat.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is a wonderful start! Being able to smoke, use a cellular phone, along with unrestricted internet access (to name a few). These items should defiantly be taken away from prisoners. After all these people are incarcerated for committing an offence so they shouldn’t be able to enjoy luxuries as these!!!!!! Do you agree?


    • Hoping for better days says:

      I agree. Anywhere else in the world Prison is HELL ON EARTH for the incarcerated! But not here.