Mauritius launches new pictorial tobacco health warning labels

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) – The Mauritian Health Ministry on Friday launched a new set of pictorial health warning labels on tobacco packages to sensitise the population on the harmful effects of cigarette smoking. The new labels will replace the existing once set which date back to 2009.

Meanwhile, Mauritian Health and Quality of Life Minister Anwar Husnoo has expressed concern regarding the high prevalence rate of smokers among the younger age groups with over 44.7% of men aged between 18 to 24 years reporting smoking.  

He said the ministry will leave no stone unturned in the fight against the scourge of the tobacco epidemic to protect the population, calling for the collaboration of everybody, especially youth and the various stakeholders, to pave the way for a more concerted, comprehensive and sustained approach towards the tobacco problem.  

“The challenge for all of us is to ensure that the generations to come live in a tobacco-free world,” he emphasized, adding that approximately 1,000 deaths occur annually due to tobacco use.

However, he indicated, that the National Non-Communicable Disease Survey carried out in 2015 has revealed that the prevalence of smoking in Mauritius has decreased from 21.7% in 2009 to 19.3% in 2015 while the importation of cigarettes has also decreased.

Among other measures adopted by the Health Ministry in the fight against tobacco are amendments in the existing Public Health (Restrictions on Tobacco Products) Regulations 2008 in order to include inter alia electronic cigarettes, online sale of tobacco products, cross-border advertising, brand-stretching and to also strengthen enforcement operations on the field.

The Health Ministry is also planning to accede to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products which will further enhance the fight against illicit trade of tobacco products in the island.

A mass media campaign in the near future to target the population on the ill-effects of cigarette smoking, that includes TV and radio spots, billboards, SMS alerts, will also be launched.
-0- PANA NA/MA 1June2018

01 juin 2018 10:53:07

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