After the government of Barbados ratified the FCTC on 5 November 2005, a draft smokefree legislation which seeks to ban smoking in public places was developed but it never reached Parliament. There was a change of government in 2008 and the new Minister of Health promised that a ban would be enacted by January 2009 the latest. A cabinet reshuffle subsequently occurred which further slowed any meaningful progress. In spite of calls for action from civil society, the Prime Minister has called for wide consultation and horse trading before any definitive action can be taken. By April 2009 legislation had been drafted and presented to Cabinet. Tobacco control advocates were optimistic it would be passed by WNTD on 31 May 2009 (GL Today 1 April 09).
Smoking prevalence is relatively low (> 10%) but the number of occasional young female smokers appears to be rising. About 85% of corporate workplaces have instituted voluntary smoking bans. The main problem areas are open air concerts, bars, clubs and restaurants which are heavily supported by the tourism sector.
The Heart and Stoke Foundation of Barbados(HSFB), along with civil society partners, will continue to advocate for the implementation of comprehensive tobacco control measures which are enforceable by law.
HSFB and several other Barbadian NGOs were instrumental in getting smoking banned in all viewing areas of the Cricket World Cup in 2007. Although smoking areas were provided, they were not in sight of play and there was no seating.
Smokefree resources available in 2009
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados www.hsfbarbados.org
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