The Demerara Tobacco Company in Guyana, has called on President David Granger to reconsider sections of the Tobacco Control Bill before signing it into law.
On Wednesday the Director of the Demerara Tobacco Company, Maurlain Kirton said the company is not opposed to the regulations. Rather, she is concerned that the measures are discriminatory, highly draconian and even unconstitutional.
Send bill back to parliament
Kirton urged the president to send the Bill back to Parliament for it to be analyzed and reviewed by a select committee. This should be done to minimize the impact of the measures, not just for the industry but also citizens, he said.
“We are of the view that some of the proposals are not balanced and justified. We believe there are less restrictive alternatives which are proportionate, effective and feasible. There are several clauses in the new law which infringe on the rights of ordinary citizens and discriminate against many who are seeking to earn their livelihood from the selling of a legal product,” Kirton said.
The director said while the Bill proposes to ban indoor smoking, advertising, sponsorship and promotions to protect non-smokers, there were several other measures that require further probing and amending.
What are public places
Among these, she said, are the definition of the term – workplace and public spaces.
Kirton expressed concern that the definition of workplace within the Bill was too broad, believe public places should be established as adequate designated smoking areas.
The Tobacco Control Bill bans the sale of tobacco products by vendors and in health care facilities; sports, athletic or recreational facilities; government buildings; educational facilities or any other place prescribed by the regulations. Those found breaking the law would be fined GUY$400,000