A ‘No Smoking’ sticker pasted on a passing vehicle
LAWS that will stop smoking in public places and transport will come into force soon, Director of Health Promotion Services Alby Lovi said.
He said under the Solomon Islands Tobacco Control Act 2010, any person smoking cigarettes or tobacco products in any designated no smoking areas or public transport will be subjected to penalties.
“At the moment the final draft of the regulations is still with the Attorney General’s (AG) office for further legal recommendations before it can get its final blessing from cabinet,” Mr Lovi said.
“The new regulation will increase the restrictive effect and convey to the public a more consistent message on the Government’s determination to enforce the smoking ban and protect nonsmokers from the risk of secondhand [passive] smoke,” Mr Lovi added.
Last week, health promotional service officers from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and police officers from Kukum traffic department of Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) launched a one day operation to issue and plaster no smoking stickers on public transp vehicles.
Mr Lovi said the stickers were a first step and that the campaign would depend on public support.
“Unless the public supports this, we think that this will not be a success, because we surely cannot monitor all public transports in the city.
“Our operation, also backed up by the Kukum traffic police is to install stickers on all buses, market pickup trucks, cabs including government owned vehicles using the capital city’s public transportation system.
“The 2010 Solomon Islands Tobacco Control Act stipulates that administrative institutions, officials and owners of public transport and facilities are obliged to monitor, educate and report to enforcement groups of the ban of no smoking,” said the director.
He confirmed that interested private vehicle users can have access to the stickers by visiting specific focal centers in Honiara.
“Our focal centers are situated at Inland Revenue Department, Kukum police traffic station and Honiara City Council (HCC) registration of business licence department.”
The national tobacco taskforce committee under the MOH this year launched a series of publicity programs including radio talkback shows, display and distribution of posters, pamphlets, installation of billboards and other publicity materials.