Smoking in public is prohibited, reminds Leausa

Smoking in public is prohibited. 

That is the reminder by Ministry of Health Director General, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri issued in a public notice. 

“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,” said Leausa. 

Last year the Samoa Cancer Society (S.C.S) welcomed a new report which finds that tobacco control measures are highly cost-effective and boost national economies.

 “The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control” report is by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (N.C.I) and the World Health Organization (W.H.O). 

Tobacco use remains one of the world’s leading causes of preventable premature death. Smoking causes over 16 types of cancer and accounts for more than 20per cent of all cancer deaths worldwide.   

According to the 2013 Samoa S.T.E.PS survey, 25.6per cent of the surveyed population smoke tobacco, with 91.1per cent of the surveyed daily smokers, smoking manufactured cigarettes. 

As reported earlier an average of just over nine manufactured cigarettes per day (almost an entire pack of 10 that is currently being sold).

S.C.S patient referral data for the period June 2014-July 2015 shows three of the top six cancer types presented during that period, most likely were smoking related.  

Lung, pancreatic and rectal cancers are some of the 16 confirmed types of cancer that smoking causes.  

In its P.A.T.I.S report for period 2007-2011, the Samoa Ministry of Health listed lung and cervical cancers as two of the seven leading cancers (cervical cancer being classed as a smoking related cancer).  

This includes environmental tobacco smoke (also known as second hand smoke).

While progress is being made to control the global tobacco epidemic, existing measures have not yet been used to their full potential. 

These include significant tobacco tax and price increases, comprehensive bans on tobacco industry marketing activities, prominent pictorial health warning labels, smoke-free policies, and population-wide tobacco cessation programs.

Applying these most effective and cost-effective interventions would reduce demand for tobacco products and significantly reduce the prevalence of tobacco use and the resulting deaths, diseases, and economic costs.  

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