No smoking in public places

National, Normal

The National, Friday 14th June 2013


SMOKING in public places has been banned, according to the National Executive Council (NEC).

These include all:

  • Public motor vehicles and taxis;
  • Government vehicles and boats including those used by the armed forces;
  • Terminals and aeroplanes (other than private charters);
  • Restaurants, cafes, shops (including betting shops and supermarkets and stores);
  • Enclosed locations in hotels, clubs and bars (except in open areas or in hotel rooms designated for sleeping and/or for smokers);
  • Offices and any enclosed working environment both public and private; and 
  • Educational facilities.

Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said non-compliance with the regulation would attract a fine of K500 for individuals and K1,000 for corporations or a jail term of up to 12 months.

The NEC approved the regulation on tobacco control measures in the country in March banning smoking in public places.

The decision has been gazetted and is now enforced by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) enforcement unit and police. 

NRSC inspectors and Department of Health officials were at a bus stop along the Waigani Drive in the National Capital District yesterday warning motorists and passengers on the new regulation and putting “no smoking” stickers on buses and taxis. 

“The regulation prohibits drivers of PMVs, taxis and government vehicles or (operators of) vessels from smoking including passengers on board,” Kase said. 

“The NEC’s decision aims at protecting the health and safety of people on board moving vehicles and vessels.”

The failure to display no-smoking signs is an offence under the Tobacco Products (Health Control) Act 1987. Offenders face a fine of K500.