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Fiji Time: 2:08 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Smokers beware

Demayble Pasoni
Saturday, April 07, 2012

THOSE caught breaking the law under the Tobacco Control Decree 2010 can be fined as much as $5000.

Health Ministry spokesman Peni Namotu said smoking in certain public areas such as bus stations and Internet cafes had been prohibited since the implementation of the decree.

Mr Namotu said the public should be aware of the penalty of smoking in public areas.

"Irrespective of age, there will be a spot fine of $200 for anyone caught smoking in public areas," he said.

Mr Namotu said the ministry had set up initiatives in accordance with the decree.

"Firstly, we have established the Tobacco Control Unit and do their rounds daily in order to stop people from smoking in public areas," he said. "Secondly, in June, vendors, retailers, manufacturers of cigarettes are to be registered."

Those failing to comply will be fined $5000.

Mr Namotu urged people not to take their lives for granted.

"Smoking is a health risk on its own because of the non-communicable diseases involved such as lung cancer and people should not take their lives for granted.

"Smoking in public areas does not affect the smoker alone but it also affects those around the smoker," he said.

He confirmed the number of people who died from cigarette-related illnesses had risen.

"The number of people that die because of smoking has increased and that alone should make people realise that smoking really does kill."