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U.S. Virgin Islands

On May 10, 2010, U.S. Virgin Islands Governor John deJongh Jr. signed a smokefree air law, but expressed concerns and warned legislators that it would need to be revised.

2017 Legislative Session: 01/09/2017 - 12/31/2017 (est.)


Smokefree News

Senators vote to increase smoking taxes ($$)
Virgin Islands Daily News - February 26, 2016

Senators at Thursdays legislative session voted to implement a slight increase in taxes on cigarettes and cigars sold in the territory. The cigarette bill increases from 34 percent to 45 percent the excise taxes due on cigarettes imported into the territory. It also establishes a Virgin Islands Sin Tax Fund, with 95 percent of proceeds going to the general fund and 5 percent given annually to the V.I. Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence to be used for treatment and prevention programs.

Smoking tax bills pass to full legislature ($$)
Virgin Islands Daily News - February 10, 2016

Two bills related to taxes on cigarettes and cigars were approved by the Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and will move to consideration by the full Legislature.

Fun fact: Smoke-free beaches in US Virgin Islands
Fort Worth Star Telegram - February 13, 2013

The U.S. Virgin Islands has banned smoking at all beaches inside its national park system. The smoking ban covers cigars and pipes as well as cigarettes and is ...

US Virgin Islands bans smoking at protected beaches
StarPhoenix - February 7, 2013

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, Virgin Islands - The U.S. Virgin Islands has banned smoking at all beaches inside its national park system. The smoking ban covers ...

USVI bans smoking at protected beaches
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 12:00 PM

The U.S. Virgin Islands has banned smoking at all beaches inside its national park system.

Smoking ban enforcement begins today
Virgin Islands Daily News - Joy Blackburn - February 10, 2011

ST. CROIX - The V.I. Health Department will begin enforcing the territory's new smoking ban today.

Although the law - which bans smoking in and around almost all businesses and public buildings in the territory, as well as in some outside areas - technically went into effect in November, enforcement was delayed.

The Health Department, which is the lead agency enforcing the law, granted local businesses a three-month extension to come into compliance.

In preparation for enforcement, Health, along with the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, last month conducted public meetings on all three islands about the smoking ban.

The Virgin Islands Smoke-Free Act was signed into law in May and amended during the final session of the 28th Legislature in November ...

DeJongh signs off on road repair, broadband initiatives
Virgin Islands Daily News - Joy Blackburn - Nov 27, 2010

Amend the Virgin Islands Smoke Free Act by defining an enclosed area as a structure that has a roof and more than two substantial walls that have no opening, or an opening that does not allow air in from the outside, or an opening that is less than 25 percent of the wall's surface area; and by decriminalizing violations, making them civil violations instead of misdemeanors. ...

Wide-ranging anti-smoking law raises questions
Virgin Islands Daily News (vg), 2010-11-12
ALDETH LEWIN, Daily News Staff

The Virgin Islands Smoke-Free Act went into effect Wednesday, but many people are not sure exactly what the new law spells out for businesses and smokers in the territory.

The law was passed by the V.I. Legislature in April and signed by Gov. John deJongh Jr. on May 10. According to the legislation, the V.I. Health Department had three months to educate the public, the government and the territory's business owners on the requirements of the act before it was implemented.

That was not done.

The smoking ban went into full effect six months from the date it was signed. On Tuesday, Health Commissioner Julia Sheen said the government will not enforce the ban for an additional three months to give businesses time to come into compliance. ...

Casino is now smoke free
Virgin Islands Daily News - June 16, 2010

ST. CROIX — Divi Carina Bay Casino has pre-empted the mandatory smoke-free deadline established by the new V.I. Smoke Free Act and decided to go smoke free full time, according to a statement from the operators.

The casino used to offer “Smoke-Free Mondays,” but extended that to include every other day of the week on June 1.

Operators believe “it is the first casino to actively promote a smoke-free environment prior to being forced to by law,” they said.

The governor signed the bill in May, and the law is to go into effect next year. ...

DeJongh signs into law anti-smoking, 'racino' bills
Virgin Islands Daily News - Aldeth Lewin - May 11, 2010

ST. THOMAS — Gov. John deJongh Jr. took action on eight bills Monday — signing five into law and vetoing three.

The legislation approved by the governor included the “racino” bill to allow casino gambling at the territory’s racetracks and the Smoke-Free Act to ban smoking in the V.I.

The Virgin Islands Smoke-Free Act, bans smoking in enclosed areas of public places and places of employment.

While he approved the legislation, deJongh wrote in his transmittal letter to Senate President Louis Hill that some of the law’s definitions — like "enclosed areas"— are too broad and will have to be refined. He also was concerned that the excessive signage requirements would be burdensome to business owners.

DeJongh said he is concerned with the penalties included in the law that make violating the smoking ban a misdemeanor. He said it criminalizes smokers and will need to be revisited by the Senate.