Poll: Curb smoking in public

A vast majority of respondents to the most recent caycompass.com online poll want to see the Cayman Islands Government’s forthcoming legislation ban smoking from either most or every public building.

Of the 446 respondents to the poll, 251 (56.3 per cent) said smoking should be banned from every public building, including bars. Another 114 people (25.6 per cent) said smoking should be banned in most public buildings, including restaurants but not bars. Together, the two groups of respondents represented more than 81 per cent of those participating in the poll.

Of the remainder of the respondents, 38 (8.5 per cent) thought smoking should be banned from many public buildings, but not bars and restaurants; 17 people (3.8 per cent) thought it should be banned from schools and workplaces only; and 26 respondents (5.8 per cent) thought smoking should not be banned at all.

The majority of those providing optional comments favoured a significant ban of smoking in public places.

‘Plain and simple, smoking kills,’ said one person. ‘I don’t want these suicidal people killing me too.’

‘Smokers do not have the right to pollute,’ said another person. ‘Their right to smoke is limited to doing so without forcing others to inhale their second-hand smoke.’

Some restaurant and/or bar owners have expressed concern that enacting smoking legislation that includes their establishments could affect their business. Several respondents did not think so.

‘I come from an area where the bars strongly opposed such a ban,’ said one respondent. ‘But once in force, there was no drop in bar attendance, and club and restaurant attendance increased.’

‘Smoking in public places deters long stay tourists from spending time at restaurants/bars,’ another respondent pointed out.

Respondents did not seem to think asking smokers to smoke outside was such an imposition.

‘Smokers in this country are blessed to be able to pursue their habit outdoors throughout the year without freezing,’ said one person.

‘[A smoking ban] has worked in offices and will work in other public places,’ said another respondent. ‘At least it’s warm in Cayman if you need to smoke outside, unlike Scotland where smoking is soon to be banned in public places.’

Several respondents commented on the trend to ban smoking it other places.

‘Mesa, Arizona had similar legislation and it worked well,’ said one respondent.

‘Excellent move,’ said another person. ‘The dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke are well known. It’s time Cayman moved into the current millennium like the rest of the world.’

More than just non-smoking patrons of bars and restaurants expressed concern.

‘I am a non-smoker who has to work in bars and I am worried about second hand smoke,’ said one person.

Some people think the Government should go even farther with their legislation.

‘Smoking has been established as cancer-causing,’ said one person. ‘It should be banned… period.’

‘And raise the price of cigarettes to $10 a pack,’ said another person in favour of banning smoking from all public buildings.

Only one comment was made from those supporting no ban.

‘Common sense should prevail, as to when and around whom you smoke’.