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Deadline for tobacco regulations compliance today

Friday, August 15, 2014

HEALTH Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson is urging businesses to ensure that they meet today's deadline to comply with the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations.

"There will be major consequences for business places such as hotels, clubs and bars [that] do not adhere to the requirements of the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations after this date. Anyone who thinks they can flout the law will be in for major consequences," Dr Ferguson said.

Apart from extending the transitional deadline to today, other amendments aimed at making implementation easier were put into effect earlier this year. They include:

* Amending the term "workplace" to exclude reference to residences or private vehicles being used for work purposes though the prohibition still applies to residences used for commercially-operated childcare activities:

* Reducing the graphic health warnings on tobacco products from 75 per cent to 60 per cent; and

* Lowering of penalties for breaches by individuals and small vendors. The fine for a first offence will be up to $10,000, second offence up to $25,000 and subsequent offences up to $50,000.

"As the grace period comes to a close, we will be working with the police to ensure compliance with the Regulations. I have absolutely no doubt that these regulations are good for the country," Dr Ferguson said.