Barbados could become the first country to completely ban smoking

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Barbados could become the first country to completely ban smoking

Post  Admin on Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:46 pm

By Stanley Collymore

Barbados is a highly literate country with an outstanding 100% literacy rating. It also has a superb National Health Service (NHS), and as with education that’s free to all from the pre-school stage to university postgraduate level the much treasured and profoundly respected Barbados NHS is also universally free at every point of entry to it.

And both these major national assets of ours are hugely reflected in the healthy stature and longevity of life of our Bajan people, since Barbados can proudly and justifiably boast that among all other countries worldwide, it most outstandingly has the highest and additionally an inspirationally ongoing number of actually living as well as near in their close proximity to that precious landmark centenarians per population globally.

So we Bajans do know how to take care of and responsibly look after our health. But at the same time Barbados is also a foremost international tourist destination and vocational resort and unhappily for us some highly irresponsible outsiders do uncaringly bring their unhealthy habits to our shores most disappointingly and which can deplorably be copied by the young and impressionable among our population.

And therefore we as a nation must do whatever we possibly can to stop these kinds of very unhealthy and imported practices impinging on our country and people. Smoking is definitely one of them, and with many western countries belatedly banning cigarette smoking in public places because of the now medically and publicly well-known hazards of smoking to human health the tobacco industry has avidly and rather self-servingly turned its focus on the Global South in order to recoup its major and burgeoning financial losses in these former areas of its once unrivalled dominance.

And where better, those who run the tobacco industry evidently seem to think, to recoup their distressing losses than in an ideally idyllic tropical paradise like Barbados; and with the same tobacco industry employing its cancer-ridden money to promote local and beloved sports like cricket and football against the targeting advertising backdrop of fake machoism or feminine glamour of would-be smokers and most particularly so among the young and trendy elements of the island’s population.

This blatant dishonesty with its multifaceted dangers to our Barbadian and other Caribbean citizens and inhabitants must be stopped forthwith, and while education is a key method of doing so, very stringent legal and financially punishing proscriptions must also be vigorously put in place as a resolutely no-nonsense deterrent.

That’s why it’s fundamentally important that the Barbados Government comprised solely of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) of which I’m a proud and longstanding member of, knew its late founder, Royal Air Force World War II hero and my friend Errol Walton Barrow, the Father of Barbados’ Independence, our first Prime Minister as a sovereign and independent nation and one of the officially declared and honoured 10 National Heroes of Barbados, who insightfully, courageously, altruistically and commendably gave us Bajans free education and correspondingly free health care implement as a matter of the utmost urgency stringent non-smoking laws in all public places and other venues where people congregate socially.

So that younger Bajans, just like our deeply respected elders and departed but dearly beloved ancestors can themselves too, unhampered by wholly avoidable illnesses and diseases that are unquestionably associated with smoking in all of its deceptive guises, live to our conventional Bajan, ripe old age custom of being centenarians plus. And it would be absolutely fantastic if Barbados with this very much in mind could become the world’s first international and idyllic tropical destination where an absolute 100% universal smoking ban was preferably sensibly, intelligently, most pragmatically and statutorily introduced for all, locals and tourists alike.

For the current and painstakingly hard-earned status quo of Barbados being an exceptionally healthy and idyllic paradise in numerous and pleasurably rewarding ways is one that all of us Bajans would be thoroughly foolish to imperil in any circumstance. And for what? To rather foolhardily and vaingloriously parade ourselves to act like automated mannequins controlled by outsiders while at the same time wilfully damaging our precious health; and all this for the graspingly avaricious and bloated commercial advantages and financial rewards of those that candidly, truthfully and most unapologetically on my part in saying so, couldn’t give a damn about us Barbadians as a people, a nation or even as fellow human beings, and whose primary and only purpose as far as we’re concerned is to freely and financially line their own pockets.

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