27 November 2015

East Timor tackles cigarette smoking with a new law to control tobacco

ETLJB 27/11/2015 The Government of East Timor has approved a new law aimed at tackling the social problem of tobacco consumption in the country.

The new law will be Decree-Law on the Tobacco Control Regime.

The draft law has been previously considered by the Government at the meeting of the Council of Ministers on 21 September 2015. It will define the regime for the prevention and control of smoking in the country.

This diploma is in compliance with the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, ratified in 2004 by the National Parliament.

According to a press release from the Government, "tobacco consumption in Timor-Leste remains very high, with significant negative impact on citizens’ health."

The Government notes that "approximately 70% of non-communicable diseases have as their main risk factor the consumption of tobacco."

On 4 June 2014, BBC News Magazine reported that "East Timor has one of the highest smoking rates in the world, with nearly two-thirds of its men hooked on the habit."

According to figures from the Journal of the American Medical Association, 33% of East Timor's population smoke every day. The figure for men stands at 61% - the highest in the world.

"Young people are smoking more and more each year, especially young boys," says Dr Jorge Luna, The World Health Organisation's local representative. "It is a very serious problem."

When he was Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao repeated what is tantamount to the tobacco industry's line: "The law, banning this, banning that, will not be so effective. It needs education [and] it will take time but I believe that the more people are aware of the diseases that it can cause, the more they are able to stop by themselves."

Tobacco advertising is still prominent in public spaces in East Timor. Most cigarettes are imported from Indonesia, which also has a very high smoking rate in the population.

See also Tobacco control in Timor-Leste: weak

East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin Legal news from East Timor in English


Marco Auciello said...

Quitting smoking is incredibly hard, especially for those that have done it for a long time and suffer with the cravings.

I’ve been smoke free about… 27 weeks now ish not sure of the exact day, but everytime someone lights up near me or even if I see someone smoking on TV, they come crawling back out the depths, scratching there way to the front my mind.
Thanks for sharing....

Rayanna said...

My name is Rayanna Pereira, I'm a Brazilian medical student and I am the Coordinator of Expansion to Portuguese Speaking Countries of the NGO Education Against Tobacco http://educationtobacco.org/, which works with middle and high school students for the prevention of smoking in over 64 countries around the world.

The project was created in Brazil last year and we have translated all the NGO material to portuguese. Since then, I've been working on expanding this material to other Portuguese speaking countries and have just got founded the first group in Portugal (http://educationtobacco.org/portugal-has-its-first-eat-team-in-nova-medical-school/).

Right now, I'm trying to get in touch with medical students or doctors in Timor Leste (East Timor), a country where over two thirds of the male population smokes, so that the project can be expanded there.

Any help will be much appreciated and feel free to share my contact information below.

Kind regards,

Rayanna Pereira

6th year medical student at Federal University of Ouro Preto
Coordinator of Expansion to Portuguese Speaking Countries - EAT Brazil