Bars choose no smoking

Two bars on Grand Cayman are now non-smoking indoors, following on from hotels and hotel bars that previously went this route.

Sapphire has just gone smoke free

Sapphire has just gone smoke free. Photo: Submitted

Just last week Sapphire Lounge at Seven Mile Shops went no smoking, following on the heels of nightclub and lounge District 6.

At District 6 smokers can light up out in the open air on an upstairs balcony while at Sapphire patrons must step outside the bar to have a smoke.

There is no legislation against smoking in bars in the Cayman Islands and these establishments are going non-smoking by choice.

Manager of Sapphire, Stefan Candby Petersen said they made the decision to eliminate smoking from the upscale lounge because they were getting too many complaints about the smoke.

Mr. Petersen, who admitted that he himself is a smoker, said even smokers are showing appreciation for the decision. They can now smell pleasant odours such as perfume rather than the musty smell of tobacco smoke, he said.

Patrons can still smoke, however, but they must go outside and have a cigarette there.

The ultimate plan is to have a patio area outside with seating on it, which is subject to approval, said Mr. Petersen.

‘I think it will boost the number of tourists coming here, as a non-smoking bar,’ he said.

High end tourists are attracted to cocktail and sushi lounge Sapphire.

The air conditioning system has also been cleaned out for the fresh new start for the bar.

A sign on the front door indicates to patrons that it is a non-smoking bar, and if someone lights up accidentally they are simply asked to finish their cigarette outside.

‘It hasn’t been a problem at all,’ Mr. Peterson said of the new policy. ‘I think business will improve from this.’

Meanwhile District 6 at The Strand, West Bay Road opened five months ago with the policy of no smoking inside the building.

There is, part-owner Jae Pangilinan is quick to add, a special outdoor smoking section. ‘Our policy doesn’t infringe on smokers because they can smoke outside,’ he said.

There is a special upstairs balcony area for smokers, where they can take their drinks.

‘The policy is there for my clientele who do not want to smoke, and those that want to smoke can go outside. We’re looking after the interests of both parties,’ Mr. Pangilinan said.

Also, the smoke would be too much for his staff to be inhaling the whole time, he asserted.

Ensuring the health of his customers and staff is important, he said.

While there may be the odd person who does not like change, when it comes to issues of health, most customers are happy with this policy, he said.

And there have, so far, been no conflicts in asking people to go outside to smoke.

Major hotels on the island previously implemented no smoking policies in most or all of their interiors.

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