Today’s Editorial for January 5: Glitch shows up in tobacco ban

It appears the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service received an unwanted present over the holiday period.

They’ve now been tasked with the unenviable job of babysitting tobacco users who are breaking the new smoking ban.

We hate to say we told you so…

The smoking ban wasn’t put into effect until 31 December because the lawmakers charged with making the law work had to come up with enforceable rules and regulations.

We patiently waited and most were optimistic that the wait would result in a meaty smoking ban, which would be easy to enforce.

While the long-awaited regulations may have a lot of teeth in them, someone forgot a very major part of the law – enforcement at night.

The primary responsibility of seeking out smoking miscreants falls on the shoulders of the Department of Environmental Health. Officers there are charged with making routine inspections of registered businesses.

While we welcome the smoking ban, we believe more thought could have gone into the law. It is unbelievable that this legislation was put into force without having any conversations with the RCIPS. Yes, it is their responsibility to enforce laws in the Cayman Islands, but a little common courtesy should have been called for in this instance.

Members of our police force have some serious issues to deal with without having to police smokers behaving badly.

On the upside, it appears smokers throughout the country are abiding by the law and owners and managers of enclosed public places are keeping their clientele compliant.

Let us hope that the new smoking ban doesn’t become another burden for our already overly tasked police force.

For those who do continue to purchase and use tobacco products, get ready to dig deeper into your pockets. The price of tobacco products has also gone up with the advent of the New Year.

Smokers would do well to make a New Year’s resolution to stop the habit, thereby saving money and adhering to the smoking ban in public places.

We should all resolve to have a healthier New Year because without health, we essentially have nothing.

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