The government of Mauritius has said that it is committed to implement standardized packaging in the country because it believes in the effectiveness of the measure.
“We will adopt all appropriate tobacco strategies to come to grips with the tobacco scourge,” said the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Anil Kumarsingh Gayan on Monday.
The minister was speaking at the opening of a one-day workshop focusing on strengthening Mauritius’ Tobacco Control Policies that was organized in conjunction with a series of activities marking World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2016, which had as its theme, Get ready for plain packaging.
In his address, Gayan pointed said that Mauritius had to cope with a very strong and innovative tobacco industry which was relentless in the pursuit of expanding its market worldwide, particularly in developing countries.
Whatever the industry did, the government and responsible Mauritians had to undo, because tobacco in any form killed.
Mauritius currently bans tobacco smoking in public places, and the advertising, promotion, or sponsorship of tobacco products. It has seven smoking-cessation clinics.
These initiatives are probably working to some extent because a national non-communicable diseases survey carried out last year showed that the prevalence of smoking in Mauritius had decreased from 21 percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2015.
But the Minister wasn’t entirely happy, saying that a drop of two percentage points in five years was not significant. ‘I only wish that the drop was far bigger, and this is why we must gear up the awareness campaigns to make everyday a WNTD’, he said.
Category: Breaking News