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Smoke-free settings encouraged

BUSINESS Houses, company managers, transport owners, and property owners have been encouraged to enforce smoke-free settings in their respective surroundings.

Director of Non-communicable Disease (NCD) Dr Geoffrey Kenilorea yesterday said they are working with other ministries on smoke-free settings.

They have also worked with the Kings Taxi Service and have awarded them medals for the discouraging smoking in their cabs.

“What we try to do is to empower ministries, different business houses, taxis, buses, property owners and workplaces to enforce the law in their workplaces.

“We hope if people get sensitized to that, the law will enforced by itself,” he said.

Dr Kenilorea said smoke-free settings are public transport, workplaces, schools, hospitals and clinics.

“This law is comprehensive on this areas, this will allow more to the health of the smoker, and also to the health of people surrounding,” he said.

In the enforcement plans, the technical group saw smoke-free settings as a low-hanging fruit areas where they could quickly address before moving up the tree.

“We hope once these practises are become normal in the society, these things will enforcing themselves.

“If the community is empowered this law will enforce by itself.

“We are looking at outsourcing the work for youth groups, women, and chiefs to help us on enforcing the law.

“And managers in work places to enforce the law in their respective work places.

He said enforcement is a bit slow, but if they want to pick up the momentum and proceed on, that again depend on funds.

“If authorities release the funds then we will carry on the work,” he said.

The NCD Director said they should cover the whole country, but working within limited resources they plan to start in Honiara first then move on to other provinces next year.

“Tobacco use is costly and goes on to a larger extent, it cost family financial downfalls and also cost health of people, and cost the government through our admissions at the Central Hospital.

“If we manage to control, tobacco, it will be good for the country and for health, and economic sustainability of people.

It’s sad picture, some people depend on selling products that are hazardous to our health, but once whole of the law is implemented the sell of single roll is something that we should not entertain.

He said last year, 14 people were already apprehended on selling single roll, and not all that were arrested were charged.

Some of whom their cases are not all completed, which he said are expected to be charge in the coming weeks.

“And I hope once they are charged, we will set a good example for people to see, follow and be warned that you can get arrested for that,” Dr Kenilorea said.

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