Today’s Editorial July 03: Where is smoking legislation?

We welcome the news that another bar has chosen to go smoke free on its own without waiting for Government legislation.

The Corner Pocket at Alissta Towers is the latest of more than 40 venues on Grand Cayman that have chosen to take the smoking issue into their own hands.

Will they lose business for making this bold decision? We don’t think so.

If anything, the Corner Pocket and other bars and lounges that have chosen to go smoke free will probably see an increase in business.

Non-smokers who like to socialise loath inhaling second-hand smoke.

According to the Mayo Clinic, second-hand smoke is passive smoking and tobacco smoke pollution.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds of which more than 250 are toxic and more than 50 of the chemicals are known or suspected to cause cancer.

Some of the suspected health risks of second-hand smoke include cancer and heart and lung disease.

Other health problems from second-hand smoke include chronic coughing, dental cavities, irritability, eye and nose irritation and reduced lung function.

While it’s good that businesses have instituted no-smoking policies in their buildings in the Cayman Islands, it’s not enough.

Government has to come through with its promise of tobacco legislation.

An anti-smoking law that would ban smoking in enclosed environments was first proposed by Health Minister Anthony Eden in mid-2005.

We applauded him then for his forward thinking.

However, we’re half way through the year of 2008 and we still don’t have any anti-smoking legislation on the books.

The public deserves better.

We’re faced daily with the rising cost of living and one of the issues is the increasing cost of healthcare.

Introducing no-smoking legislation is something tangible the Minister and Government can do to help drive down some of those costs.

Mr. Eden keeps saying that the tobacco bill he’s proposing will be a piece of far reaching piece of legislation.

We’d like to see how far reaching it is and we’d like to know when it’s going to be made into law.

In the meantime, businesses can follow the lead of the Corner Pocket and other businesses that have chosen on their own to go smoke free.

If Government isn’t going to step up to the plate we have to take matters into our own hands.

While it’s good that businesses have instituted no-smoking policies in their buildings in the Cayman Islands, it’s not enough.

Government has to come through with its promise of tobacco legislation.

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