06 December 2016

Timor-Leste’s efforts recognized on World No Tobacco Day

Timor-Leste’s efforts recognized on World No Tobacco Day

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, May 31st, 2016

Timor-Leste’s efforts recognized on World No Tobacco Day

Today, the 31st of May, is World No Tobacco Day. The World Health Organization promotes this day as an opportunity to underline the negative health consequences of tobacco use and to recognize individuals and organizations for their efforts in contributing to the reduction of tobacco use.

Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, as a part of an ongoing social campaign, has today delivered a special television message to the nation noting the high use of tobacco in Timor-Leste with “70% of men and 42% of youth in the age group of 13-15 years consuming tobacco products.” He said that the message to stop the bad habit of tobacco use was “an important one for the future of the Nation because of the dangerous impact to the health of the Timorese people.”

The Sixth Constitutional Government has taken significant steps to reduce tobacco use. The Government has rolled out a campaign on television and radio warning of the dangers of tobacco use and encouraging smokers to ‘quit’. Medical personnel have been trained to assist people to give up their smoking habit and legislation has been considered that looks to restrict advertising of tobacco, limits smoking in enclosed public spaces and prohibits the sale of tobacco products to children.

In recognition of his leadership in contributing to these measures and fostering a healthier Timor-Leste the World Health Organization has conferred this years World No Tobacco Day Award in the South-East Asia Region to Prime Minister Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo. The World Health Organization Representative to Timor-Leste, Dr. Rajesh Pandav, called the Prime Minister’s leadership on this issue “a path-breaking example for other developing countries.” Prime Minister Araújo was nominated for the award by Health Alliance International.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “the health consequences of Timor-Leste’s high tobacco consumption cannot be ignored. For our development and to enable us to create a healthy future for the young people of our nation, measures to curb the use of tobacco are essential. As the Prime Minister has noted in his television message today, people should quit tobacco use because they care about their own health and because they care about the health of the Nation.”


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