Fiji - new tobacco control decree will not come into effect immediately..

Fiji - Coat-of-Arms.
December 13, 2010 - Fiji Health Ministry will need the assistance of the public in ensuring the restrictions in the new tobacco decree are followed. With the new Tobacco Control Decree, it will restrict the sale of cigarettes to any person under the age of 18 years old through the confinement of the sale of cigarettes to only businesses who are licensed.

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Fiji - protecting future generations from the evils of tobacco..
Manager for Tobacco Control Ifereimi Corerega said this will also narrow down the work of tobacco officers and they do not have to monitor unnecessary places. He added they will have the support of police to monitor retailers and public places such as bus stands and internet cafes to comply with the decree and penalties will be in place for those that breach the law which is currently being looked at. However he said they will need the assistance of the public in reporting on those who do not comply with the law.

Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma said the Tobacco Control Decree will not come into effect immediately but will be phased in which requires all importers, manufacturers and retailers will have to register for their licenses under the decree starting from April 30th next year, while suki (the Fijian term for tobacco leaf, generally rolled in newspaper or rolled into cigars and smoked) vendors will have to register starting from January 1st next year.

Meanwhile, all cigarette packets will have new health warning labels by 2013.

According to Dr Sharma, tobacco smoking is a major issue and very addictive. “It will be a tough battle,” he added. Dr Sharma went further to say there would also be bans on other Tobacco items such as cigarette lollies and chewable tobacco.

The adult smoking prevalence stands at 38 per cent on the NCD (Non-communicable diseases) 2002 statistics survey. The male smoke prevalence stands at 50 percent while the female prevalence is at 25 percent.

Fiji will continue to be proud of its position as the third country in the world and first developing country to adopt the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Fiji's Tobacco Control Act was formulated in 1998 and enacted in 2000 well before the FCTC in 2004. (Fiji proud of tobacco control,, 9/18/2007.)

MOH (Minister of Health) calls for support to implement tobacco control decree by: Sofaia Koroitanoa,, 12/13/2010; Fiji approves new Tobacco Decree by Farzana Nisha,, 12/11/2010.