Health minister’s message on World No Tobacco Day |01 June 2022
‘Let’s work together to reduce the burden of suffering and disease related to tobacco’
“Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancers, continue to be major challenges for both health and development in our country. Over the past decades Seychelles has put in place many strategies to reduce risk factors for the NCDs. However tobacco use remains a leading risk behaviour.
The theme for World No Tobacco Day this year is ‘Tobacco’s threat to our environment’. The theme aims at highlighting the threats that tobacco use and the tobacco industry poses to the environment around the world and reminds us of the measures that governments and the society as a
whole must take to promote a smoke-free environment.
“The environmental impacts of tobacco use add unnecessary pressure worldwide including in Seychelles and its fragile ecosystem. For example, improper disposal of cigarette butts generates toxic waste
and releases thousands of chemicals in the air, water and soil. Clearing of land to grow tobacco add to environmental impact that is affecting all countries.
“Smoking generally starts at an early age and currently 20% of our children aged 13-15 years regularly smoke at least once per month. Smoking is highly addictive, therefore many young smokers will become
lifelong smokers and expose themselves and others around them to second-hand smoke and to diseases and death.
“Seychelles has implemented strong policies and legislations against tobacco. The Tobacco Control Act enacted in 2009 prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places and workplaces as well as on all public
transport. All tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship is banned by law. Since July 2019, sale of single cigarette stick is also illegal. High taxes are imposed in order to reduce the demand, in line with the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC). All these measures have been instrumental in curbing the prevalence of smoking observed in Seychelles in both adults and in children but efforts must
be further strengthened.
“While the government continues the fight against tobacco use in order to protect the health of our population, it is also important that each one of us personally and collectively engage towards a tobacco-free environment in Seychelles. This includes abstaining to take up smoking and for those who smoke, to quit smoking. Stopping to smoke is possible, especially with professional support that is provided in our health care services.
“I call on all Seychellois, on this World No Tobacco Day, to work together to reduce the burden of suffering and disease related to tobacco in Seychelles and to protect the unique environment of our country that we all love.”
Minister for Health