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24 September 2014

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Man smoking a cigarette

Smoke free Jersey: From the eyes of the ban enforcer

By Bob Wareing-Jones
One of Jersey's Senior Health Technicians, and the man in charge of enforcing the ban, gives his point of view on the island's smoking ban one month in.

"Good governments impose law for the benefit of society as a whole in order to create freedom for all."
Bob Wareing-Jones, Senior Health Technician

Here at we like to offer you the chance to express your opinions on the issues that matter to you in our Speaker's Corner. Senior Health Technician Bob Wareing-Jones has done just that.

Bob is the Officer in charge of enforcing the island's ban on smoking in all enclosed work spaces, and he's taken the opportunity to present his point of view on the ban now that it's been a month since it was first introduced...

Fears unfounded

Girl smoking outside jewellery shop
Girl smoking outside jewellery shop

It has been reassuring to read that the licensed trade have found their fears of significant business loss due to the smoking ban proved largely unfounded.

As the Officer responsible for enforcing the ban I am delighted by the professionalism of the licensed trade and others in embracing the regulations and the steps they have taken to prevent smoking in the workplace.

During the first two weeks of the ban my colleagues and I visited over 200 premises throughout the island including restaurants and cafes without incident. I can happily report that the sense of humour amongst those enjoying a drink, particularly in St Helier during the evening, was as lively and quick witted as ever.

The appalling weather has failed it appears to deter the most committed smoker from braving the elements, however, the “Time 2 Quit” smoking cessation team continue to receive enquires about giving up the dreaded weed.

Civil liberties?

Smoking sheesha
Smoking sheesha

Not everyone has been happy, with a number of complaints about how this legislation prevents freedom of choice and removes individual basic human rights. Good governments impose law for the benefit of society as a whole in order to create freedom for all.

Similar comments were voiced when seat belt wearing became compulsory as did the ban on using mobile telephones when driving. If the smoking ban helps to prevent illness and save lives, as it will, the whole of society will benefit.

Give me a sign

Some issues of compliance have been raised for example, the legal requirement for all Licensed Premises, Registered Tourist Premises and Registered Places of Refreshment to post the official No Smoking sign at the main entrance to the business.

Hundreds of the self adhesive signs are being issued by members of the Public Health Department. One sign per premise can be collected by occupiers from Les Bas Centre on St Saviour’s Road in St Helier during normal office hours.

Where is enclosed?

Teenagers smoking on a bench

Another issue still not fully understood is that the access and egress of the workplace is included in the smoking ban if the structure /entranceway is covered by a roof or ceiling; and more than 50% of the perimeter is made up of one or more walls and similar structures.

During inclement weather some smoker’s use these entrances to shelter whilst having a smoke and owner/occupiers of such workplaces have to take steps to prevent smoking taking place, for example by posting a no smoking sign or a verbal reminder.

As with all new laws and regulations it takes time to bed down and for everyone to not only get used to change but adapt accordingly. As issues are raised they will continue to be dealt with or discussed on a case by case basis.

Breaking the law

Smoking ban inevitable?
No smoking sign

There maybe occasions when failure to abide by the law will have to be dealt with formally and enforcement action taken. It is hoped that this is very much a last resort but the States have made provision within the regulations for prosecution and fines up to level 4 on the scale are available to the Court on conviction. 

These things take time

The residents of Jersey have had plenty of time to digest this new law and opportunity to air their views but the department continue to welcome further questions for clarification. Meetings have been held specifically for the businesses potentially most affected by the ban and these will continue as the island prepares for the tourist season.

Comments continue to be posted on various web sites and discussion held both formally and informally between all the interested parties. 

Public Health Department officials have also been approached from a number local authorities and similar bodies in England as they prepare for their own ban which comes into force in July this year.

No doubt in just a few short months the whole of the Channel Islands will have become accustomed to these new regulations and accepted as much a part of daily life as any other law.

last updated: 08/09/08
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greg come back to reality you can't make jersey a non smoking island thats just a ridiculos thing to say and do you not think that smokers know that they are killing themself slowly?But it's theire choice is they smoke or not i smoke and i think that the time ti quite hasn't come yeat. But i'm sure when it does come i will stop!! knaw i need a ciggi

i think that the smoking ban is a good idea.the smell when people smoke around you is repulsive, i never used to want to go to many places where people smoked whereas now i can. it will help many peoples heath.

never smell smoke anymore

Sam J W
I think the smoking ban is a very good idea because they're not only killing themselves but they're killing everyone around them.

I had smoked for 23 years & thanks to the smoking ban I have managed to quit for 2 months now & have no intention of ever putting a cig near my mouth again. Did not do it for health reasons though, as I believe if your gonna get lung cancer your gonna get it. There is a history of lung cancer in my family smokers & non smokers.I realised how much they controlled me by the smoking ban coming into force. For me its the easiest thing I have ever done. Have to say though I find it a bit annoying when walking through town with the smell of smoke but we cant have it all ways. Smokers have rights as well. So for my reasons tks for the ban.

Personally i believe all smokers should be taken out and executed, as all they are doing is ruinging their health and the health of others. Jersey should become a completely non-smoking island, even in open areas.

As a visitor from the mainland I have just spent my annual spring week on holiday in St Helier but have breathed in more cigarette smoke than ever before - why? - because at lunchtimes the streets are full of smokers, I have had to circumnavigate groups of smokers outside pubs and the parks and beaches have also become a haven for smokers. Not only this, the gutters are full of fag ends and I did not witness any attempts to clean up. Come on Jersey - is this what the ban is supposed to be all about?

I have to say I very much enjoy coming home after a night out now and not smelling of smoke!

smokeing is so nasty so stop and if u smoke thats so bad for your lungs and u will died faster and my grate gram died at age 27 for smokein do not smoke thats why u will dies fast thanx for leasing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Walter Crats
ello`! i think smoking the cancer sticks should be allowed every where. I also like to have a nice stogie now and then.. you know, for a change of pace. Ok well im going to go have one and i think this whole thing is outrageous. cheerio

chris nolan
jersey should be an no smoking island

Colin, why u stuck at home & why can't you socialise? Only difference is you have to pop outside for a ciggie? Can't see why this is such a hardship for smokers, if you want to do it that bad, you'll manage.

colin briddon
rather than ban smoking in all pubs & restaurants - should have the choice- smoking or not, then i & many friends could socialise - now stuck at home

we should have the right to unelect and remove these anti smoking people from there positions, its just a one man quest to achieve something he personally dissagrees with.. bet he never puts any regular money into a local pub..make me sick how they can tell adult people how to run there lifes... maybe we should ban something he likes should be voted on by the people of jersey... but doesnt matter what is said, it falls on ignorant and deaf ears...

I'm out every weekend and to be honest there's only once I've ever smelt any sort of iffy odours. At least the smell of B.O., farts, e.t.c, e.t.c. doesn't give you cancer.

Hi Bob, The ban does not affect hotel rooms although some hotels have decided to make it a total ban. Best check before booking.

I have always enjoyed a meal and a drink the pub but this has always been marred in the past by the smoke and smell of cigarettes so I welcome the smoking ban. Since it started I have my frequented my local far more than in the past and enjoyed the opportunity of taking my kids out for a meal. Also I have noticed that although a few familiar faces who would literally chain smoke whilst looking into a glass beer (they never seemed to drink any) have disappeared the pubs seem a lot busier and it is more difficult to get a table to have a meal.

Just a question - what happens if you stay in a hotel - are all the rooms no smoking now?

this new law lost all my support when i found out about the restrictions imposed on al fresco smoking. describing blatanly outdoor places as enclosed spaces is a farce. it makes me want to take up the fags and blow smoke at everyone.

As a smoker myself i can see why people would think its a goodb thing not to smoke in public place. i have been out since the ban and its not been to bad having to go outside for a fag not that good at this time of year but when summer comes the smokers are going to be loving it sitting outside the pub smoking away in teh sunshine. Alot of my friends are non smokers and we all agree on one thing since the ban came on all you can smell in pubs and clud is sweaty people with BO, sick and other nasty bodily smells i'd much rather wake up with my hair smelling of fags

Fantastic, I can finaaly go out and enjoy myself, don't stink when I get home!!

I agree with Bha-Andy. Not been to the pub since the ban came in and have no interest whatsoever, and we can't be the only ones who feel like this. They keep taxing us on the cigarettes but 2 pints of lager in the pub is the same as a packet of cigs. The cigs last me all day and the 2 pints have gone in half hour so I might as well stay at home, get some cheap beer from the supermarket and smoke more fags as they are quite cheap when you think of it that way! I guess the government have done me favour. Enough of this - its time for another ciggie and a beer. Thanks

My Grandma has just died of lung cancer at the age of 85.The Doctor asked her did she smoke. She replied that she did, but gave up in wait for it... 1967. That is the reason he said why she got it. My point is that most people have smoked at some point in their lives. So it gives them a good reason to blame the dreaded weed. Smoking was introduced to England in the 16th century. Lung cancer was virtually un heard of before 1900. About the same time as cars started to appear on the roads. I think they should leave us smokers alone, and get on their bikes.

Paul C
As a non-smoker I've been in pubs and restaurants more since the ban came in. I don't see the problem with having smoking pubs though - if the staff smoke and want to work in them. Yes I know all about the 'burden on the Health service argument' but frankly I feel that point of view is unfair on smokers. Jersey is full of examples of the damage that drink causes and yet I'd never vote for a politician that wanted to ban beer and wine. Anyway, smokers pay more tax, as I do when I have to resort to drink after another rotten day at work! What upsets me is the mess in St. Helier now from all the fag butts. Rather than having a go at the politicians and workers some would say are responsible for cleaning the mess up, why aren't we adopting a harder line on those who litter? It isn't tolerated in Australia where smokers buy recycled 35mm camera film containers to put their butts in. Neither is it tolerated in Singapore. Why do we let smokers get away with it here?

As a smoker and five weeks into the ban have I noticed a difference ? Yes, I have saved a load of money by not going into a pub,buying cheap booze from the supermarket and smoking my fags in peace at home

I am elated that, at long last, a Law, preventing smoking in the workplace and enclosed areas, has been enforced. The long awaited 'human rights' for the non-smoker has eventually arrived! The freedom of being able to go to lunch, or out for the evening, without having to check if it is 'a smoke-free zone', is tremendous and makes such a difference!

alex dolan
you are all crazy...I NEED A FAG!!!!!!!!

As for the health thing, in my opinion that's down to luck. How is it 97 year old smoked 60 a day lived longer than a relative who never smoked a cig in his life die before.

How can you compare seat belt enforcement to no smoking ban. they should have seperate areas (rooms) for smoking/non-smoking. I feel that smokers have had raw deal from. Another thing, who will pay for the tax shortfall (around 80% of cig price is tax). I gave up smoking 2 years ago, but i remember enjoying a pint and ciggy.

The reason the pubs & clubs have not suffered is because non-smokers will start to frequent pubs, clubs and restaurants knowing it will no longer be an unpleasant experience. This will generate revenue that will compensate for the losses from the smokers who stay away. However, in time these same establishments should see an INCREASE in takings as families feel happier and safer going out and taking children with them. Think of how selfish a habit smoking is, then see why non-smokers have waited for this to happen for years and the increased footfall in so many places will bear this out.

If smoking is really that dangerous, why has it not been made illegal to sell it? It would really make giving up much easier.

Gwen, what makes you think that non-smokers approve of smack heads and alcoholics? Why are so many smokers using this "non-smokers / alcohol" link. I don't see how that fact that I hate smelling of smoke means that I approve of alochol & drug abuse. It's a ridiculous comparison to make!

Elisabete ferreira

As smoker of 25yrs i have decided to give up.Not to do with the fact that it is supposidly bad for your health but the inconvinience of having to pop outside to have a smoke everytime and made to feel like a lepar.I have realised how much ciggs control your life. As for you non smokers until you have smoked yourselves you obviously do not realise what it is like. Shame you people do not have the same attitude when it comes to smack heads & alcoholics roaming the streets of jersey.Plus the fact that the states of jersey are paying to help some people to give up is also a bonus. All the years i have paid my tax finally getting something for free.

Taken from the article: "Not everyone has been happy, with a number of complaints about how this legislation prevents freedom of choice and removes individual basic human rights." Freedom of choice? I'm sure it's only the minority but do smokers not think that us non-smokers have a right to a smoke free meal at lunch time? Or a visit to a pub for a smoke free beer on the weekend? Good riddance to smoking in pubs and clubs :)

Seems to be working ok. Bit of a pain not being able to drink and smoke at the same time though. Also seems to have turned smoking into even more of a social thing, whereby people seem to be going out of clubs to have ciggy and a chat. A down side is that in bars and clubs you can now smell people B.O., thier farts and also the general urine/beer smell you get in some places. I think I prefered the smoke, to be honest.

Best thing that ever happened.

Smoking is a disgusting smelly unhealthy habit and now that there is a ban I think Jersey will be a less polluted place and restaurants and cafeterias etc will be nicer environments to visit

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