Saint Lucia authorities have introduced new rules to make it mandatory for cigarette labels to include a graphic warning.
Under the change, implemented Aug. 16, cigarette products will include photos of children with breathing masks, discolored gums and blackened lungs.
Facts about the harmful effects of smoking will also be included on every cigarette box.
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards, SLBS, will monitor shipments of tobacco traveling through customs to ensure the new legislation is observed. Companies which fail to respect the new legislation will not be permitted to enter the country.
Hubert Reynolds, head of the SLBS Compliance Department said those companies which had shipped their products prior to the change will be permitted to sell their items on their arrival.
“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,” said Reynolds.
He added that the Caribbean island’s health department will also investigate possible legislation revisions to prohibit smoking indoors.
“So you would see, in terms of public buildings, the passing (of) laws to reduce the impact of second-hand smoke,” Reynolds said.