The National, Tuesday July 16th, 2013
THE National Executive Council’s decision to ban smoking in public seems to be a joke.
It has been a month since the ban was introduced, but there is hardly any evidence or positive signs of it being implemented or adhered to by the public.
I have been a continuous victim of passive smoking every time I travel in PMV buses and I believe there are many others too who are victims of this practice.
Although we may not be able to control smoking in all public places, to start, I suggest the authorities target PMV buses, shops, restaurants and offices which are hotspots for public smoking.
Employ wardens to monitor these places.
For instance, if anyone is caught smoking in a bus, then the operator’s trading licence for that particular bus must be terminated or the operator be fined a penalty while the offenders be sentenced to prison.
By penalising both parties and targeting these common places where people smoke, the operators will be mindful and will also help make it their business to monitor and restrict such practice.
Once the ban becomes effective in these areas, we can move out to other enclosed or open public areas and enforce it on individuals.
Moreover, since about one quarter of the population are smokers, law enforces will find it very hard to enforce this ban on individuals.
But if hotspots are targeted, we will be able to control it.
Otherwise, the ban will remain ineffective and people will continue their bad habits of smoking anywhere they wish without considering the health of others who become victims of this practice.