Today’s Editorial May 28: Put down the tobacco

Sunday marks the World Health Organization’s World No Tobacco Day.

It’s the day when the Tobacco Law in the Cayman Islands was to go into full effect.

The decision to delay the law’s full implementation until 30 October is disappointing and can be considered a disservice to the residents and visitors of the Cayman Islands.

We hope that our new government and Minister of Health will make the tobacco law a priority.

The part of the law that prohibits minors from buying tobacco went into effect on 1 May. For that we are grateful.

The former ministry delayed the law because it said regulations and procedures needed to be in place and the measure wasn’t ready for Sunday’s implementation.

Tobacco legislation has been a topic of much discussion and study since there was the promise of such a law back in 2005.

There has been ample time to implement regulations and procedures to make this legislation work.

Many restaurants and bars have already taken smoking bans into their own hands and have prohibited diners from lighting up. Kudos to those that have adopted such a proactive attitude.

The theme around World No Tobacco Day is picture packaging; and it isn’t pretty.

The images are of cancer-marred gums and blackened teeth, a dying person on a ventilator, a hole in someone’s neck from cancer, a premature undeveloped baby and worse.

The idea is that tobacco users will refrain from buying the products when they see the gruesome images. WHO is concerned that the majority of people don’t know the true dangers of tobacco.

It is dangerous, both to the user and to those who have to inhale second-hand smoke.

If you are a tobacco user, try to stop Sunday. One day can lead to another and before you know, you too can be tobacco free.

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