Time for Tobacco Law

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society has been involved with the development of tobacco legislation for the Cayman Islands and has had a representative on the steering committee, formed in 2004, charged with making recommendations as to the content of the legislation.

We are disappointed that as we near another Christmas and New Year holiday we cannot celebrate the passage of the Tobacco Bill for the Cayman Islands, the tabling of which in the Legislative Assembly, has been promised for some time.

The Tobacco Bill White Paper was circulated in March of this year for public comment and since this time there has been no further word as to the status of this document.

The Tobacco Act will make Cayman a better place and potentially save many lives.

Some in our community argue that the proposed legislation needs a few finishing touches but to all intents and purposes we believe it is basically prepared. This begs the question what has happened to it? Has it been assigned to the deepest governmental filing drawer lost and gone forever?

The health problems caused by tobacco to users and those exposed to the effects of exposure to tobacco smoke will not go away and are costing the country millions of dollars each year in healthcare costs. This does not take into consideration economic and business costs such as days lost from work, cleaning costs etc.

The issue of tobacco needs to be addressed with some urgency as it has been addressed in many countries around the world including some of our neighbours in the Caribbean such as Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Cuba.

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society is urging all concerned citizens to write to their MLA today asking them to support tobacco legislation in these beautiful Cayman Islands. Alternatively, write a letter of support to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and we will ensure that our leaders are made aware of the level of support there is in the community for this legislation.

Let’s hope that come December 2008 we can all celebrate Christmas and New Year in a smoke-free Cayman.

The Directors of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society