Tobacco use in public places

Photos and Interviews by David Papannah and Jonelle Fields

This week on what the people say we asked the man/woman in the street about the smoking of tobacco products in public places and whether tariffs should be increased on cigarettes.

Saline Jahoor, Sales Personnel

`First of all smoking is very dangerous to your health, to children and your surroundings, it is like pollution in the air. I support the ban on persons smoking in public areas and the increase in taxes on tobacco. I believe that will make persons stop smoking.’

Mr. Pollard , Cook

‘Persons cannot kick that habit so easy, so I would say that you get a special area for smokers. But if you come in a public place to smoke and you have persons doing other things and they are not smoking, it will affect them. Smoking is dangerous to health, especially the second hand smoke so I would advise that they have a special place for smokers rather than to ban it all together. When you put increased taxes on tobacco that is punishment, and you cannot punish the person, because you have to remember the person has inherited it or it has become a part of their life, so to kick that habit it will be very hard. Don’t mind what you do they will always have smokers, we try to minimize it and that will be good. ‘

Joyann Mathis

‘I think it is good to ban smoking in public places. Smoking and also second hand smoking is detrimental to persons. They say the second hand smoking is more dangerous than the first hand and I personally had that experience. My husband was a smoker and he died with lung cancer, the lungs got dark, he couldn’t survive, he couldn’t breathe, and when you can’t breathe you can’t live.  I’m not too sure on imposing taxes on cigarettes, because you know these guys and these women, the men are very, very ravenous when they don’t get to smoke. For housewives, the husband use to beat them when they don’t buy their cigarettes, a man would raid the family ration basket to make sure the cigarette is there.  Government should do more and try to implement programmes that would bring awareness to smoking because it causes cancer and takes away family members.’

Rajesh Searwar 

‘Well cigarettes is big business. I don’t think persons should smoke in public places, because a day I was on a boat and a man was smoking and blowing the wind in my face and I was like `man you can’t smoke here because it affecting me and others’. The man decided to curse me, so I went to tell the captain and he told the man he cannot smoke on the boat and the smoker stopped. Smokers should be considerate because not everyone around you can take that smoke. In the case of raising the taxes I don’t think so because it does not make a lot of sense because them man will still take their wives monies to smoke because they already addicted to it’.

S Jairam, Student 

‘No I don’t smoke, because it is unhealthy. However, smoking is a personal choice and persons will have to make that decision for themselves. I would love if the Government put a ban on persons from smoking in public places because I have read that second hand smoking is more dangerous to those who are around the smoker. Remember, when you are in a public place and someone is smoking, you did not choose this and it’s like they are forcing you to inhale it. The implementation of a higher tax will not deter smokers from buying the tobacco especially if that person is addicted. They will find the money to pay for it. However, it is a personal choice and I think that persons should choose life.’

Ryan Deosarran, Nurse

`I was diagnosed with emphysema which was a result of second hand smoking. I think smoking should be banned in public places. Though even if you try to spread awareness on this persons don’t even listen. Persons just should not smoke. If government proposes a hike in the taxes of tobacco I think that could work to some extent, because that would give the economy more money and smoking might decrease. The government could import the electronic cigarettes which is a bit better because you can’t get someone to stop smoking.’

Tennessee Vickery , Taxi Driver

`First of all on the box, the Ministry of Health has a warning on the box that says smoking is dangerous to your health but yet  persons still smoke. Smokers don’t really read what is written on the box or anywhere for that matter.  However, that is a great idea to increase the taxes on tobacco but I believe prices for cigarettes have already gone up and that is not deterring persons from buying it. And also to ban smoking in public places. As a taxi driver persons would want to smoke in your car and that is a habit and to avoid getting into conflict with customers I would tell them to put their filter outside but still it is disgusting because the ash still gets inside the vehicle. So the ban on public places is good. The smell of the smoke affects you greatly. Persons are aware of the harm of cigarettes but with youths it is a trend. It is not until it is too late then persons wise up. But the government needs to do more. Some youths think it’s a trend and fashionable.’

Dwain Bowen, Student

‘I smoke and I use it as a coping mechanism also I use it for keeping persons away from me because when I put a cigarette in my mouth persons do not want to come around me and that is actually what I want. If the government enforces a ban on smoking in public places it will not bother me because I do not smoke in public places.’

M DaSilva, Taxi Driver

`It is unhealthy to smoke tobacco but there are some people that do not care anything. They just smoke, anyway, anytime, any place, so when I think that it is a good idea to place a ban on smoking in public places. If they increase the taxes on tobacco that would be ok, but some persons will still smoke no matter what. I used to smoke so I can tell you and because of health reasons I have stopped.’

Nakasia Logan, Journalist

`I do not smoke, I do not like being around persons when they smoke because it is very dangerous to our health. I agree with the Government if they wish to  put a ban on smoking in public places because I have experiences many times when I would be somewhere in the public and someone comes and starts smoking next to me. Most times when you speak about it or ask them to stop you are met with a negative response from the smoker. So a ban in public places would be ideal.’

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