NOBODY would turn the clocks back on banning smoking in bars and restaurants, the deputy Health and Social Services minister argued in the States yesterday in response to fears reintroducing tobacco licensing would damage retailers.
Deputy Barry Brehaut, pictured, made the point during yesterday's debate on the department's proposals for a tobacco control strategy, which continues today.
'When we had the debate in this Assembly about the smoking ban, we had the same arguments then that restaurants and hotels would lose business,' he said. 'But nobody would turn the clocks back on that now.'
Deputy Elis Bebb said the cost of tobacco-related illnesses to the island was roughly £14.5m. each year, whereas the cost to businesses following the introduction of a licensing regime would be roughly £300 per year.
Deputy Heidi Soulsby said she was supportive of the overall strategy, but deeply disappointed the department was dropping its funding for the Guernsey Adolescent Smokefree Project, of which she is patron.
- More on yesterday's States meeting in today's Guernsey Press