British Virgin Islands bans smoking

The Legislative Council in the British Virgin Islands has passed the Tobacco Control Act banning smoking in public places in the BVI.

Along with prohibiting smoking in offices, restaurants, bars and other such places, the Tobacco Control Act will regulate the promotion, distribution and use of tobacco products in the Territory.

Minister for Health and Social Development, Ronnie Skelton, who presented the bill for its second and third reading said he was happy that the bill got the needed support to pass through Legislative Council.

“I think my colleagues acknowledged the need to protect the non-smokers in this community and this is good. The concern for public health obviously outweighs any of the other concerns that may be considered when introducing such a ban especially with the Territory’s dependence on tourism,” Skelton said.

The BVI joins as many as 57 countries in embracing the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The convention essentially gives countries more tools to control tobacco use and save lives.