Today’s Editorial October 23: Tobacco Law dead again

We hate to say we told you so, but…

Implementation of the Tobacco Law won’t happen at the end of this month as promised by the previous government.

We understand that regulations weren’t put into place when the law was passed exactly one year ago this month; shame on former Health Minister Anthony Eden and the previous government for this obvious oversight. It would appear approval of the Tobacco Law was little more than a political ploy aimed at getting votes during the May election. Obviously it failed.

Now the implementation of regulations is squarely on the shoulders of new Health Minister Mark Scotland and the UDP Government.

We’re not blaming him or the UDP that the regulations haven’t been approved, but we certainly hope Government hasn’t put this issue on the back burner.

There has been public consultation on the issue, the Chamber of Commerce has addressed it in luncheons and other forums and members of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society were on the steering committee that oversaw Tobacco Law legislative language.

Under the former government, the Ministry of Health and Human Services said there was no point in bringing the Tobacco Law into effect if it can’t be enforced.

We disagree. There are many laws on the books of the Cayman Islands that have no enforcement or procedure regulations.

Yes, there is some fine tuning to regulations that must be done, but the law needs to be implemented.

When our Leader of Government Business was head of the Opposition during the last administration he accused the government of the day of not having the political will to get the law through. He even called for stronger anti-smoking measures to be introduced.

Mr. McKeeva Bush is a man of his word and as such we expect to see the tobacco law regulations implemented soon and the Tobacco Law to become real under his leadership sooner rather than later.

Yes, the country is faced with many other important issues at the present that require much of Government’s attention, but this legislation has the potential to help save lives. It must be implemented.