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Smoke-free plans for towns

Salaseini Moceiwai
Saturday, May 31, 2014

PLANS are afoot to declare smoke-free zones in Labasa and Savusavu towns.

And as part of such efforts, officials from the two town councils met with personnel from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Health Ministry in the North this week to map out strategies for the initiative.

In an interview yesterday, WHO settings co-ordinator Peni Veilave said they were in the consultation phase where the plan was at its initial stages.

"We have already declared smoke-free zones in Suva and Nadi and now we have decided to visit the North to hold consultations with the responsible authorities there," he said.

"The first phase is to identify and declare spots as smoke-free zones.

"When things progress further, we are also looking into setting up booths for smokers in the two towns.

"We are working in accordance with the Tobacco Legislation 2010.

"Such an initiative is all part of efforts to ensure a healthier environment for all as smoking has been identified as the single leading cause of death globally."

Mr Veilave said the response from the public was overwhelming.

"With some places in Nadi and Suva being declared smoke-free zones, we have noted that people are becoming adherent to the law. They are smoking in the designated places and not at the non-smoking zones.

"While some have been produced in court for failing to adhere to the law, we have seen that there is an improvement in the number of people smoking in smoking- prohibited places."

Town special administrator Vijay Chand welcomed the idea, saying such a move would benefit of the people.

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