Villagers of Naimalavau lauded for declaring hall smoke-free zone

Changing attitudes cannot happen overnight but it is the little efforts to stop bad smoking practices that will address the dangers of second-hand smoking, says Roko Tuinasau Ratu Peceli Bainitabua.

Lauding the move by the people of Naimalavau Village, in Nakelo, Tailevu in declaring the village hall as a smoke-free facility, Ratu Peceli Bainitabua said this was long overdue adding it would only secure the good health of villagers that use the facility as a gathering place.

Ratu Peceli said the decision by the villagers to declare the village hall smoke free following the No Tobacco Workshop held there this week was commendable.

“It is good to know that there are people in this village who really care about the health of others because health is wealth,” he said.

“I thank the Health Inspector Central Eastern Toga Vosataki and the health team here in Nausori for getting eye-opening workshops like this one to villages so they can be enlightened and learn to make informed decisions about their health.” 

Officially closing the workshop yesterday, Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete told villagers that it was encouraging to see people’s eagerness in promoting healthy lifestyles in their villages and communities.

Dr Wainabete said this was a good sign of the communal efforts by the people to better their health.

A recent survey by the ministry recently found that every year, Fiji recorded more than 1,200 deaths due to tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke. 

In a Global Youth Tobacco Survey conducted for Fiji in 2016, data showed that 7.6% of students between the ages of 13 to 15years are tobacco smokers, out of which 9.6% were boys and 5.5% were girls.  The survey found that 30.7% of students who are current tobacco users were exposed to tobacco smoke at home and 20.8% of students saw anyone smoking inside the school building or outside on school property.

Photo: Ministry of Health

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