Castries, St Lucia: The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs recently held an awards ceremony for Public Health and Primary Health Care team members aimed at recognizing them for the work they continue to undertake. Individuals who played a great part in the preparation and response to COVID-19 were awarded for their outstanding contribution and hard work.
In addition, following the awards ceremony, a retreat for the team members was held and entailed presentations on areas such as leadership. These presentations were delivered by some of the senior management team members of Sandals Resorts St. Lucia.
Saint Lucians to be better aware of the smoking laws in the country as the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat kicks off its activity in relation to the smoke-free space legislation.
As part of implementation activities for smoke-free spaces, the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat within the Ministry of Health recently visited various health facilities and government buildings to install and distribute the legally required “no smoking” signs.
The initiative is expected to restrict public smoking and smoking in other enclosed places.
Deputy Coordinator of the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat Joanna Joseph-Henry says she is pleased with this initiative given that it will not only control smoking in certain areas but also protect individuals from second-hand smoking.
“The sign would signify and remind. Is not that we don’t know but it really reminds persons that the area where they are standing is a smoke free zone. When we say smoke-free it applies to all substances: cigarettes, any other kind of substance whether it is legal or illegal and also any electronic devices. Whether they are being smoked or even lit and once they are emitting a substance, it is no longer allowed in work places and public places.”
Joseph-Henry says this initiative of smoke-free spaces is expected to help individuals to be empowered and say no to public smoking. It is also the hope that individuals who smoke can seek the assistance needed.
“In our activities going around to different communities we found that this initiative has been welcomed by individuals who have wanted to have the power to say to individuals and persons smoking around them that ‘you have to stop and you are not allowed to smoke around me and that I have to be protected from what you are putting out there.’ We expect people to be cooperative and also appeal to individuals who may have some level of dependency or issues with quitting to seek help cause we have been offering services from last year at our various facilities to help individuals who may be addicted and may want to quit and struggling.”