SUVA celebrated another milestone in its existence yesterday when it was the first in the region to be declared a smoke-free city by the Suva City Council in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the WHO.
SCC special administrator Chandu Umaria said the initiative was meant to encourage healthy living within the city.
"As part of this initiative, we are declaring all the council properties including Terry Walk, Ratu Sukuna Park, the Ivi Triangle, Suva market, Suva Handicraft Centre, the Suva Bus Station, taxi stands, swimming pool and Suva Library all smoke-free," Mr Umaria said.
But he also explained smokers would have special areas within the CBD designated as smoking areas for their convenience.
"Promoting the health of our residents has always been a top priority of my administration and I am proud that the City of Suva has been a national leader in this area.
"To this end, today we are refocusing our efforts on tobacco use, which remains a leading cause of NCDs globally."
He also explained soon all council vehicles would have their ash trays and lighters removed to further foster the healthy city vision.
Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma applauded the move by the council adding that other towns and cities like Navua, Labasa and Savusavu had also indicated their willingness to follow suit.
"This initiative by Suva is a milestone because Suva was declared a healthy city in 2012 and by designating areas that are non smoking then you are enhancing the quality of air you breathe and reduces your risk of disease," Dr Sharma said.