July 15, 2013 3:15 pm

Jamaica adopts smoking ban in enclosed public places and some outdoor locations

Picture taken on October 12, 2007 shows stubbed out cigarettes laying in an ashtray.

JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

KINGSTON, Jamaica – People caught lighting up in bars, restaurants and other enclosed public spaces now face hefty penalties in Jamaica.

The new law also prohibits smoking in outdoor public spots such as bus stops and open-air sports stadiums.

Health Minister Fenton Ferguson says businesses will have six months to post “no smoking” signs and all tobacco products have to include graphic new warnings about the health effects of lighting up.

Police commanders say they will likely issue warnings to violators for now while they wait for the public to be sensitized to the new law.

First-time offenders could be fined up to $500 or face three months in a lockup.

Other Caribbean countries that already have public smoking bans include the Cayman Islands, Suriname and Grenada.

© The Canadian Press, 2013

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