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New Tobacco Rules

Minister of Health the Hon. Mark Scotland makes sure government is compliant with the Tobacco Law, 2008 by posting the correct sign on the front door of the Government Administration Building.

Residents and business owners are reminded that one of the key provisions of Cayman's Tobacco Law, 2008 is that all public places will be smoke-free from 31 December 2009.

Legislated smoke-free areas 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.

Although the Law does allow for designated smoking areas in open air bars and restaurants, it comes with certain restrictions: The areas must be clearly marked and must be 10ft away from the non-smoking areas.

Also, designated smoking areas 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.

To help business owners 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.

Public health officials 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.

The following businesses will not be able to apply for a tobacco registration: 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).

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.


For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver