Governor John deJongh Jr. signed the Virgin islands Smoke-Free Act this week but sent it back to the Senate for some tweaking. He said some of the definitions in the law need fine tuning to be more specific. Specifically there are exceptions for some 'private clubs' and 'enclosed areas' which should be clarified.
"Under the new law smoking would be completely prohibited from restaurants and bars as well as public venues including parks, beaches, playgrounds, retail stores and public transportation waiting areas," according to an analysis by the AARP. (Read its statement here)
The Virgin Islands Daily News said the Governor thought that making a violation of the smoking ban a misdemeanor 'criminalizes smokers.' He urged the Senate to soften the penalty.
Read the Daily News' report of the No Smoking bill signing here
11 thoughts on “VI Smoke-Free Act signed”
This is INSANE. A legal product, one which the government makes a LOT of money on, BTW, and they have the audacity to tell a PRIVATE TAX-PAYING BUSINESS IN AMERICA that paying patrons are not allowed to actually use cigarettes inside the 4 walls of their business?? I’m not a smoker, I hate smoke, but WTF?? Way to support small business, America. Why hasn’t anyone challenged the constitutionality of this law yet??
“He urged the Senate to soften the penalty”???? CIGARETTES ARE LEGAL! SMOKING IS LEGAL!
I am not a smoker and I hate even breathing the side effects of this nasty habit, however, it sounds like we are losing more of our individual rights every day. Perhaps a compromise could be met were restaurants could decide for themselves to be smoking or nonsmoking. Patrons could choose to go there or not. I can understand Jen’s (above) concern about constitutionality.
How about a sign saying there IS smoking allowed on this premise, posted in the entranceway to the establishment? That would allow the paying customer the free will to decide. The enviormentalists in this country have gone crazy and want nothing more than destroying peoples lives and businesses for their wacko agendas.
It should be the choice of a business proprietor to determine if smoking is legal or not. Then customers and employees can make their own decisions. We are losing our personal freedoms. What’s next? Like Richie Havens said “freedom freedom…..”
Guess I won’t be going back to St. John.
I’m a smoker however my right to smoke does not override non smokers right to not be forced to breathe a toxic substance – the smoke from my cigarettes – in a public place. Non smokers have had to deal with my right to smoke until now. What about the rights of non smokers who are by far in the majority? I have the right to kill myself with cigarettes, I do not have the right to endanger others with that smoke.
I’m planning my wedding/honeymoon and struggling to narrow down where in the caribbean to go. Thank you USVI for helping me make my decision! I’m so happy and thankful for your smoke-free law. Thank you for protecting the health or your citizens, your employees, and your visitors! When does the new law start? Now I just have to figure out which island to go to and where to stay??
I hope your guests get arrested..the territory can use the money and since it’s a misdemeanor that could mean a year in jail or $1000 fine.
IF anyone smokes there will be No where they can do it other than the center fo the street
Jen, chill. We deserve this cos we like to place stupid people to lead us. So, if they want to mock us with such laws, cmon, are you really gonna obey such a stupidity ?
Smokiest bar in St John . . . Island Blue’s in Coral Bay. . . No one there cares about a no smoking ban!!!