PNG to ban Public smoking

SMOKING in public places and the sale of loose cigarettes will be banned if Parliament approves an updated Tobacco Act later this year.
They are among measures proposed for the health benefit of the country, an official says.
Health Secretary Pasco Kase said the most effective measure that could be taken against tobacco in terms of cost and public health benefit was to increase taxes on tobacco.
Kase said the Health Department and other departments had updated the 1987 Tobacco Act, and it was intended that this new bill would be presented to Parliament later this year for approval.
“Other important points in this bill are banning of the sale of single or loose cigarettes, increasing joint efforts to reduce the amount of tobacco products that make their way illegally into PNG, banning of smoking in public places and a requirement to label packets with graphic health warnings,” he said.
He said PNG was once a leader in tobacco control with the introduction of the Tobacco Product (Health Control) Act of 1987 and the adoption of a National Tobacco Policy in 2004. 
However, implementation has been challenging and more can be achieved to ensure that PNG meets its requirements under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the core element of WHO.
“This new legislation will be a milestone for PNG’s health.  We urge the nation’s leaders to commit to the implementation of the government responsibilities under the FCTC and to ensure that Papua New Guineans are given the right to healthy lives free from interference from destructive tobacco companies.
“The tobacco industry has for many years knowingly put millions of lives at risk through the continued production of a product that kills 50% of its users.” 
Following the introduction of strict tobacco control laws in developed countries, the industry has turned towards low-and middle countries,” he said.

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