US President Barack Obama is not welcome in Barbados … If he brings his cigarettes! Or: Why proposed smoking ban will HURT Barbadian Economy!

Let me begin by stating I am fully aware this item will invoke lashes from clean-air people of Barbados, but since you enforce your way? I will enforce my view regardless of all concerns expressed. Non smokers always go on about health this and that, but I am yet to hear a smoker – except me in sheer deviltry – encourage folks to take up and puff, so why not mind your own beeswax, eh?

This film while handling smoking, also looked Public Relations - did Donville Inniss think the PR nightmare which will ensue from a Smoking Ban come Oct. 1st? Plus the further job losses in a depressed economy? What is HE smoking?

This film while handling the controversy of smoking, also looked at Public Relations - did Donville Inniss think thru the PR nightmare which will ensue from a Smoking Ban come Oct. 1st? Plus the further job losses in a depressed economy? What is HE smoking?

One really has to ponder, if Donville Inniss in all of his hubris as Minister of Health, really believes that by enforcing a ban on smoking by Oct. 1st if it would genuinely cut costs down at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital? Okay, and next? Let’s ban sugar as this will prevent any further diabetes from ever occurring again! Let’s all subsist from here on in by devouring grass and cockroaches! Same logic, isn’t it?


The definition of what is public and what is Crown land needs to be defined in this proposed October 1 ban – if one can only smoke at home now, then what happens to smokers who live in NHC Units? This is their residence yet technically it is Crown land. Don’t forget, the NHC already has enough troubles of its own at the moment. I have read in sections of the dead tree media that some nightclub owners favour the ban as do certain rumshop operators, but what I want to know is why the rush for anti-tobacco when there has been glaring need for Breathalyser testing with a number of accidents recently pointing to alcohol and not nicotine as the culprit?

There are many Bajans who would imply that many MP’s on both sides as well as certain officers of Police who could be shareholders in many of Barbados’ rum factories. This support leads to an aversion of DUI legislation, but hey – let’s stop that nasty puffing!


My own mother neither drinks nor smokes yet says she’d rather see me have a cigarette now and then rather than knock back a snap. She says when my father stopped smoking in the USA during the 70’s it led to him doing more drinking and was part of the dissolution of their marriage.

Alcohol apart from causing cirrhosis has been known to aid and abet countless suicides and murders. Even a ban on alcohol is stupid in and of itself, remember the United States during the 20’s Prohibition? It led to the term “Bootlegging” for a trade in Black Market alcohol which as it was home-made in many cases led to poisoning as there were no professional controls in manufacturing the substance… Honestly? I say legalise all drugs and substances, tax the lot of them! Surcharge marijuana, levy cocaine and put a lien on heroin – it will cut the rug from under pushers and cartels who no longer have a forbidden product, and Government has extra income apart from VAT.


As for dictating even private establishments must adhere to the ban, how does this fit in with the current DLP’s view that entrepreneurism is the way to economic survival? If a Bajan decides s/he wants to enter the Service Industry with a Restaurant and/or a Bar, then you have denied them their democratic right to decide whether or not they’ll allow smoking in their establishment… So much for easing entrepreneurs.

Private establishments are not that far from personal residences, they could decree where smoking can or cannot take place – now you have stripped them of that right to choose. What’s next? No smoking at home? What sexual positions are allowed? A heterosexual couple may only perform the Missionary position, while male Gay partners cannot indulge in fellatio? Is this Barbados or George Orwell’s 1984?

When Tests & ODI's play - many Brits, Indians and Pakistanis ligh up, when they understand that's no more has a projection been done to gauge the loss in attendance?

When Tests & ODI's play - many Brits, Indians and Pakistanis light up, when they understand that's a no-no, has a projection been done to gauge the loss in attendance?

Will you have Carcinogen Cops breaking doors down to see who follows the dictates? Why no referendum? Instead, a plan to slap a $5,000 fine for proprietors and $500 or 12 months for perpetrators who disobey? This infraction is as severe as no seat belts? Or the matter of drinking & driving? Is the move Democratic, ironic for DLP, or is this a move towards unilateral dictatorship?

Why didn’t the current regime propose a tax incentive for businesses to have No Smoking signs in their facilities, then it would be up to hotels, restaurants, rumshops and other similar places to decide if they comply and use special signs indicating they prohibit use of Tobacco. When you have a subsequent survey of how many went along with the move, then you could approach the electorate as to what the next step would be…


One of the most popular puffers in the world is the 44th President of the United States of America, he was supposed to have quit on reaching the White House but what with the Birthers, Tea Baggers and other assorted racial GOP fanatics pounding at the gates, no one has heard any further efforts on any attempts on Barack Obama’s part to kick the habit. Yet we want the President to visit Barbados, he’s even been actively wooed to do so by no less than Prime Minister David Thompson – sweet, Obama comes here and I can see a constable walking up to him now…

All Hail to the .... Puff? Not in Barbados, bub!

All Hail to the .... Puff? Not in Barbados, bub!

{Secret location on West Coast which nevertheless has local security because of the nature of their guest}

RBPF: You!

BHO: (Stops as lighter approaches tip of cigarette) Excuse me?

RBPF: You cyan’ do dat! I would have to arrest you and the magistrate will slap a fine ‘pun ya…

BHO: (Eyebrows raised in utter disbelief) Really?

RBPF: Da’s right, so put that away now! Lemme tell ya!

BHO: (Strange look on his face) No, let me tell you – Security?

{Barbados embroiled in Diplomatic collapse between itself and USA due to exuberant constable wanting to prove he’s aBad John“}


Far less alienating President Obama, let’s look at overseas cases where similar efforts were created and died almost at the same time? In Canada, not that long ago, they planned to impose something like a 60% tax on cigarettes. However, they forgot Native Canadians like Inuits, Ojibwa & Mohawks operate tax free on their reservations… So these “Indians” bought cartons in bulk and carried them in the cities and charged only a slight bit more than before but enough to make a profit as they sold in bulk.

When Federal & Provincial governments in Canada realised what a loss they were making, they quickly rescinded the duties. This is mild compared to what happened in Portugal & Germany – when their anti-tobacco laws created closure of pubs and bistros which in turn led to job losses, then they had to restore the right for people to puff.

As I have said two years ago – if you enforce this suicidal measure, then you can kiss a whole wash of jobs in tourism, bars and restaurants goodbye. Folks will have “smoking parties” at their own homes and request a ‘contribution‘ for the clean-up thereafter, this is revenue and taxes lost to Government due to their short-sightedness.

In the end, the Democratic Labour Party may well go down in history as one of the few single term administrations in our gubernatorial history – since Barbadians will very likely consider DEM as a pain in the “ash“!

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10 Responses

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  1. Nice try at making a case which is really not arguable.

    It’s right to have a smoking ban in public places.

    For too long smokers have been able to ride roughshod over the rights of non-smokers and its about time the situation was addressed.

    There is very unlikely to be any effect on tourism as the US, UK and Canada, our key tourist contributing countries, all have their own bans and visitors find them normal.

    You poor put-upon smokers (is it 8% of the population?) will soon find out that all it takes is for you to step outside and pollute the fresh air, rather than enclosed spaces, which is where the ban applies. I don’t think that will prove too much of a problem.

    The key question, of course, is whether the ban will be enforced properly. Did I hear that 30% of cars have no insurance? That’s against the law, isn’t it?

  2. This sure to draw many comments, but let me be the first to say I agree, you have a great blog – the topics are outstanding

  3. Great pic of the Prez! Hah, and he is supposed to be a role modal – ah?

  4. Actually other places that have banned cigarette smoking in public places have found that while business initially drops in restaurants and night clubs, it rebound and in fact increases. They attribute this to the fact that people who do not smoke and kept away because of the excessive cigarette smoke now also come out to these places.

    And since Barbados has one of the largest (percentage wise) non smoking populations, you might just see this trend here also, albeit the fact that many of our establishment are outdoors – while overseeas many are indoors.

  5. Some people arguing de laws in UK / Canada have sensitized people to no smoking bans. however, all smokers can go outside and smoke.

    I’d like to know how cops are going to enforce it. do they have to bring the partially consumed cigarette to court and prove it belonged to the defendant who wud of course say – it not mine!

    How much in taxes is the govt giving up – just to create more revenue for fines?

    Smokers should NOT patronize a bar / rum shop / hotel – or any establishment of any kind, for a week & see whether govt / owners enjoy the drop in business?

  6. Not come across this site before. I am in Scotland, one of the pioneers in smoking bans in Europe, and we do not like it (in general although some people do of course) … it is enforced because the fines for ‘allowing smoking’ are 50 times the fines for smoking, and probably because the richer pubs with gardens reckon they can pick up trade from smaller ones without a comfortable outdoor area. But apart from this … smokers pay taxes, they have a stake in national policy and local amenities and this legislation leaves them with NO recreational space whatever. They cannot even smoke in private clubs. This is a great social injustice and divider.

  7. I’ve not necessarily have a problem with the smoking ban…I ask others all the time whether they mind; if they do, I wait until I can get a moment to myself to go and take a puff. However…

    I know the Government taxes cigarettes heavily. If they ban them, and people do decide to stop, that means less revenue for the Government. What then? Will they transfer the taxes onto other things, like food? Sorry, but food & clothing is ALREADY taxed heavily…I don’t think that we the people can take any more taxation on necessary things.

    I know that the e-cigarettes may make a profit (especially as I’m deciding to get one!)….

    Yeah, so…what’s Government gonna do about that, hmmm? Just asking…

  8. A great blog, and thank you for supporting we downtrodden smokers. The Government is shooting itself in the foot by intruducing a smoking ban in the middle of a recession – many bars and restaurants WILL close because many of us Brits come to places where we can ESCAPE from our own Government’s draconian laws……

    The hoary old chestnut recited above that while business initially drops in restaurants and night clubs, it then rebounds and increases once all the clean air fiends discover it, has been disproved time and again. Even Labour politicians gave up using this one…..

    As not too many Bajans smoke, the ban was fairly easy to push through parliament. now, what if legislation were proposed putting OBESE Bajans to the back of the queue for medical treatment or making them contribute to their extra healthcare costs? I suspect it would never see the light of day, because quite a few of these self-satisfied anti-smoking campaigners are…..fat!

  9. Useful article, thanks for taking the time to put it together. I like the direction you are thinking. I?ll be bookmarking your site so I can keep up in the future. Would like to see more posts soon.



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