Cigarette butts 'eyesore'

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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Cigarette butts and plastics thrown inside the concrete boxes are an eyesore.

Cigarette butts and plastics thrown inside the concrete boxes are an eyesore. (Photo: Christa Szergedi)

A business owner, Christa Szergedi, has raised concerns about  the cigarette butts along the Accident Compensation Corp. (A.C.C.) building pathway. 

Ms. Szergedi says the cigarette butts are an eyesore because they almost look like they’re part of the concrete planter boxes along the pathway. 

She told the Samoa Observer that the law prohibiting smoking in public places should be enforced.  

Ms. Szergedi is the owner of Treasure Box and she happens to have another branch --- Pearls and Rings - across from the A.C.B. building. 

“It is understood that smoking is prohibited in public, but this is not the case for the Savalalo area,” she said.   

 “I feel very bad just looking at where they throw it and that is usually in the pot plants across from my other branch. It looks unhealthy.

“It is not good for the plants and for the tourists who walk by the area. All tourists walk through that way.

“There are so many places in town that are really clean, but that space is definitely not clean,” she said.

Ms. Szergedi says every day there are people who smoke there from morning until evening and they litter everywhere. Not just smoke butts, but also cans and plastics.

“Most of them are all locals and in Samoa you are not allowed to smoke in public places. They mostly sit around the benches under the shade.

“Some of them are probably the people who work in those buildings and also people who go for drinks.

“You see people everywhere smoking, but this is really bad.

“It paints a bad picture of this location. When it looks dirty, who would want to walk here and look at something that is dirty?”

Some of her workers smoke too, but every time she sees them smoking they get a telling off, she said.

Mrs. Szergedi explained: “Smoking in this area and there are children around is not a good example for them and also I think that smoke packets are very expensive.” 

She said there should be more rubbish bins because there is only one along the pathway. She is certain that having more than one bin can help reduce the problem.

“We don’t always have to ask the Government to do things, we could do it ourselves.

“It is so easy to say that the Government should do this and that, but it is all about working together to make things easier for the better cause.”

She is from Germany, but has lived in Samoa for more than 30 years.

“I have talked to people and sometimes they would think what does this palagi woman want, it is not her country but I have been living here for 34 years. 

“I have a son and we came here when he was only 7 weeks old. He went through the education system of Samoa, the university and now he is in China studying there.”

In January this year, the Ministry of Health’s Director General, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri reminded that smoking in public is prohibited. 

“The public is hereby advised and reminded of the relevant Tobacco Control Act 2008 provisions that prohibit smoking in public places. 

“It has been noted and observed that many are smoking casually in public places. 

“Public places include public transports, public seagoing vessels, bus stop, sports facilities including buildings where bingo games are conducted, workplaces, theatres and place where the public is entitled to use,” according to the notice signed by Leausa. 

“In this regard, the Ministry of Health kindly asks the cooperation of everyone to enforce and monitor smoking in public places so that the health of the public is protected from the harmful effects of tobacco smoking.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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