Tobacco kills more than 1,200 Fijians each year, costing the country millions associated with healthcare costs and productivity loss.
Sharing the statistics during an event to mark World No Tobacco Day in Suva today, World Health Organisation Rep in the South Pacific Dr Nuha Mahmoud said the numbers underlined that “tobacco is never good for the economy nor the environment.”
She also noted that Fiji has been known for its strong enforcement of Tobacco control laws stating: “WHO and many neighbouring countries have looked up to Fiji for having established this enforcement mechanism in collaboration with colleagues beyond the health sector.”
Today’s event was also organised to recognise organisations that have ensured Fiji in enforcement of tobacco control laws being the Fiji Police Force, Fiji Revenue and Customs Services and the Ministry of Health & Medical Services.
Also present at the celebration today, Ministry of Health and Medical Services Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong shared his delight in being part of the celebration. He also reaffirmed that the ministry will continues its efforts to protect its citizens, promote healthy choices, advocate tobacco free settings and equally enforce the Tobacco Control Act & Regulations.