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Fiji Time: 5:32 PM on Wednesday 17 September

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No-smoking zone enforcement

Salaseini Moceiwai
Monday, June 02, 2014

OFFICIALS from the Health Ministry and the Labasa and Savusavu town councils will soon be trained as enforcement personnel to monitor smoking in the two municipalities.

And if all goes according to plan, those found smoking in non-smoking areas will be imposed a fine of $200.

At a recent meeting in Labasa, council officials met personnel from the ministry and the World Health Organization to map out plans for the declaration of certain areas as smoke-free zones in the two towns.

WHO settings co-ordinator Peni Veilave said personnel would be trained to monitor smokers.

"We will empower these personnel and their task is to monitor smokers in the two towns," he said.

"They will exercise the law on those found smoking in non-smoking zones.

"For the two towns, we are still at preliminary stages of declaring spots as smoke-free zones.

"We are still in the consultative process and once everything is in line with our plan, we will progress further."

Mr Veilave said the reason for such initiatives was to ensure a healthier environment for all.

"For non-smokers, some may care less about breathing in cigarette smoke but they don't realise how it will affect their health.

"It's prudent for us to take proactive actions and designate certain areas for smokers as smoking is the single leading cause of death in the world today."

Labasa Town special administrator Vijay Chand said they were very supportive of the move, adding it would be for the benefit of the people of the North.