Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr. James Fong says they are continuing the fight to stop the illegal sale of tobacco to minors.
Dr. Fong further adds the other issue is that many individuals and shops continue to sell tobacco without a license.
He admits a lot of proposals and submissions have been made to the Ministry for better enforcement on the sale of tobacco.
“We think this is going to be an ongoing challenge, especially in the climate of economic recovery where many people are going to put precedence over economic recovery over the health concerns related to tobacco, and we believe that it is a problem in Fiji. We also realize that a tobacco company in Fiji is taking advantage of the country’s need for an increase in internal and external revenue and therefore using this opportunity to promote their product.”
Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong.
Dr. Fong says that the tobacco unit under the Ministry of Health is made up of environmental officers who are working with the police force to facilitate a lot more enforcement of regulatory rules in regards to the sale of tobacco.
The team is currently doing a two-day-a-week routine of visiting hot spots and locations where reports are received of illegal practices.
Dr. Fong also acknowledges members of the public who are assisting the Ministry in this approach by lodging complaints.