Health minister’s message for World No Tobacco Day |31 May 2021
‘Commit to quit’
The Minister for Health, Peggy Vidot, is urging all smokers of all ages to seriously consider quitting their smoking habit and has called on the youth to abstain from starting smoking given that it is hard to stop when the habit is taken.
This comes in Minister Vidot’s message on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day being celebrated today, May 31.
The full text of Minister Vidot’s message reads:
“May 31 is the day that we commemorate World No Tobacco Day. Tobacco use is the number one leading preventable cause of death. It kills about 9 million people each year worldwide, including 1.2 million of non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke.
“The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2021 is ‘Commit to quit’. This theme aims at encouraging smokers to quit and promoting public health measures that governments and the society should implement to encourage smokers to quit and to protect non-smokers against cigarette smoke. The message calls on everyone and more specifically the youth to abstain from taking up smoking.
“It is known that smoking often starts at an early age. In Seychelles, surveys have shown that as many as 22% of all adolescents aged 13- 15 years are smoking cigarettes at least once per month. Although many of them – about two thirds of those surveyed – express the wish to stop, very few are successful. This is not surprising as smoking is strongly addictive and it quickly becomes difficult for a smoker to quit. We see therefore many young persons become lifelong smokers and expose themselves to a number of diseases, including heart attack and cancer.
“It is therefore particularly important that young people do not start smoking in the first place.
“Society can help by ensuring that they live in such environment that discourages smoking, by enforcement of measures that prohibit access to tobacco products for young people and banning smoking in enclosed public places.
“Seychelles has developed several programmes and policies to discourage the use of tobacco. This includes comprehensive legislation that bans all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places and workplaces and on all public transports, and regulates the sales of cigarettes. The law also requests tobacco packets to display large pictorial health warnings. High tax on tobacco products has been applied to reduce demand. “These measures are important to reduce the consumption of cigarettes, especially among the youth, and therefore decreasing lung cancer and heart attacks and improve the population’s health. The consumption of cigarette has substantially decreased in Seychelles since the implementation of these measures but further efforts are still needed to accelerate the decrease and better protect the whole population against cigarette smoke and its associated disease burden.
“During this Covid-19 pandemic, let us also remember that smoking increases the risk of developing severe complications among Covid patients, particularly respiratory diseases. Moreover, the economic impact of Covid-19 on all of us also means that smokers would be well advised to quit smoking, for not only their health, but also as a means to shift their financial resources from buying cigarettes to adopting healthier choices.
“I therefore urge all smokers of all ages to seriously consider quitting their smoking habit and I call on youth to abstain from starting smoking given that it is hard to stop when the habit is taken. I also further encourage all those engaged in fighting tobacco use to redouble their efforts to better promote and enable a tobacco free environment in our pristine country. This will result in better health for smokers and those exposed to smoke while also contributing toward further social and economic gains of our country.”
Press release from the Ministry of Health