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Government committed to tackling tobacco issues

Government committed to tackling tobacco issues

THE Solomon Islands Government is committed to tackle tobacco related issues in the country.

Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare made the remarks during events marking World Tobacco Day yesterday.

He said under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the government has agreed to enact local laws safeguarding the health of the nation.

“This is by protecting our population from all works of life from the threats of tobacco.

“We delivered on this promise with the Tobacco Control Act 2010. And the Tobacco Control Regulations of 2013 and 2015, respectively.

“The enforcement of our laws is paramount and I congratulate the Ministry of Health and the collaborative work they are doing with our Police Force in this regard.

“Public awareness of our laws and the health effects of tobacco use must continue. And enforcement must be strengthened to uphold the laws of this nation.

“Tobacco industry interference is also rife and guidelines and policies to curb these interferences I understand is in progress,” Mr Sogavare said.

He said amendments to strengthen the laws of the country is necessary, and the government will support any work towards tightening the loop holes of the particular laws.

Mr Sogavare highlighted that tobacco control supports health and development and Solomon Islands is working to prioritize and accelerate tobacco control efforts as part of their responses to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“We are sure to benefit from successfully controlling the tobacco epidemic, above all by protecting their citizens from the harms of tobacco use and reducing its economic toll on national economies.

“The aim of the Sustainable Development Agenda, and its 17 global goals, is to ensure that “no one is left behind.”

“And tobacco control has been enshrined in the Sustainable Development Agenda,” he said.

Saying that it is seen as one of the most effective means to help achieve SDG target 3.4 of a one-third reduction globally, by 2030, of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, cancers and chronic obstructed pulmonary disease.

He said strengthening and implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco in all countries is an additional target to be met by governments developing national sustainable development responses.

And Solomon Islands as a country is fully committed to implement the WHO Tobacco Convention.