Global call to say no to tobacco

| 29/05/2015

Cayman News Service(CNS): Countries around the world will jointly observe World No Tobacco Day Sunday, 31 May. Coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), this year’s focus, “Stop illicit trade of tobacco products”, is supported by Article 15 of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Most countries are subject to some form of illicit tobacco trade and this accounts for as much as one in every 10 cigarettes consumed globally, according to WHO. A further effect of this trade is that it contributes to corruption and weakens good governance.

The Cayman Islands is a party to the FCTC, which requires participating countries to focus on strategies for reducing both demand and supply issues. To this end, Cayman enacted the Tobacco Law 2008, which imposed product regulation and licensing compliance requirements for dealers in tobacco products, including prohibiting the sale of such products except in packages as prepared by the manufacturer.

Describing the local legislation as comprehensive, Premier and Minister of Health Alden McLaughlin, said, “We take pride in the fact that the Cayman Islands are one of the first countries in the Caribbean to enact anti-tobacco legislation ensuring a smoke-free environment for all our residents.

“Most residents and visitors act within the spirit of the law. I also encourage all registered tobacco dealers and businesses to ensure their full compliance with the law.”

As part of the activities for World No Tobacco Day, the Public Health Department (PHD) has organised another “I can quit” tobacco-cessation programme. The next seven-week session, which begins 3 June, will run on Wednesdays from 5:15pm-6:45pm, at the PHD. Up to 20 people who want to quit smoking can join this session; the deadline to apply is today (29 May).

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally, killing nearly 6 million people each year, which is equivalent to one in 10 adult deaths. Of these, more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from inhaling secondhand smoke.

By 2030, without prompt international action, tobacco use will kill more than 8 million people annually. More than 80% of these deaths will be among people living in low-and middle-income countries.

For more information on World No Tobacco Day, contact Therese Prehay in the Public Health Department on 244-2632.

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