Saint Lucia: Restrictions on Use of Tobacco Products in Public Places Adopted

29 January 2021

Library of Congress

(Jan. 29, 2021) On June 2, 2020, Saint Lucia Minister of Health Mary Isaac issued the Public Health (Smoking Control) Regulations, 2020. The regulations were issued on the basis of the minister’s authority in accordance with section 9 of the Public Health Act, Cap. 11.01, as amended by the Public Health (Amendment) Act, 2019.

According to the Saint Lucia Ministry of Health, “[t]he introduction of smoking control laws to reduce the harmful exposure of smoking in public places and work places … aims to increase sensitization and awareness in order to support successful implementation.”

Regulation of Smoking in Public Places

The regulations prohibit smoking in proximity to “an enclosed public place, enclosed workplace or public conveyance.” According to the regulations, public places include government offices, bars, restaurants, clubs and tourist establishments, and any other places or buildings that are accessible to the public. A privately occupied residence that is not used for commercial purposes is not considered a public place, however. (Reg. 2 & 3(1).)

The regulations permit an owner and operator of a business to designate outdoor areas for smoking so long as they are

  • open-sided;
  • located at least 15 meters (about 49.21 feet) from any structure or area where smoking is prohibited;
  • located in an area where access by persons, other than those smoking, is not necessary;
  • physically separated and structurally unconnected to areas where smoking is prohibited;
  • inspected by an environment health officer;
  • not used for the distribution, promotion, branding, or sale of tobacco products; and
  • not used for any form of entertainment organized by the proprietor. (Regs. 3(2–4).)

Operators or proprietors of a business must prevent children’s access to designated outdoor smoking areas; advise users that staff do not serve in such areas; and prohibit smoking when the areas are being cleaned. (Regs. 3(5).)

The regulations impose a duty on managers, owners, or lessees of public premises and vehicles to prominently display “no smoking” signs of the size and content as specified. In addition, the regulations prohibit the sale of tobacco products within 10 meters (about 32.8 feet) of public health, sports, athletic, or other similar facilities; government-occupied buildings or premises; child care facilities; and educational and religious institutions. Violators of the rules established by the regulations may be fined and/or removed from the premises or public conveyance. (Regs. 4–6 & 9.)

Compliance with International Commitments

Saint Lucia became a party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 5, 2006. The adoption of the regulations appears to comply with the requirement under article 8 of the convention for the adoption and implementation in areas of existing national jurisdiction “of effective legislative, executive, administrative and/or other measures, providing for protection from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and, as appropriate, other public places.”