The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) has revised the standard for labelling tobacco products on the island.
The change was implemented on August 16.
It is now mandatory that tobacco products have graphic warnings which point to the dangers of cigarette smoke on their labelling.
Hubert Reynolds of the SLBS Head Compliance Department said vendors with tobacco products shipped prior to the August 16 change will be allowed to sell their products until they are finished.
“Consignments coming into St. Lucia from August 16th where the bill of laden is dated before August 16th of this year, we will use the old standard to evaluate those labels. So consumers will continue to see the old labels on the market, however, we expect, in the next six months that we will start seeing an introduction of products that carry the new label,” he said.
Reynolds stated that the health department will also be looking to revise legislation with a view to reduce the impact of smoking, as is being done internationally.
“The Ministry of Health is also working on legislation to prevent people from smoking indoors. So you would see, in terms of public buildings, the passing [of] laws to reduce the impact of second-hand smoke,” he said.
The Bureau of Standards will be monitoring tobacco products coming through Customs and what is being sold by retailers to ensure that laws are adhered to.
The Bureau has the authority to prevent tobacco products from entering the island which are not up to standard.