10 June 2017

East Timor Launches Graphic Health Warnings on World No Tobacco Day

Launch of Graphic Health warnings 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, June 2nd, 2017

Launch of Graphic Health warnings on World No Tobacco Day

On World No Tobacco Day, the 31st of May, the Government of Timor-Leste launched new graphic health warnings to be used on all cigarette packaging in Timor-Leste. Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo unveiled examples of the new warnings at the Ministry of Health alongside the Vice Minister of Health, H.E. Ana Isabel Soares and the World Health Organization Representative in Timor-Leste Dr. Rajesh Pandav.

In his remarks to the health professionals and other stakeholders attending the Prime Minister encouraged all relevant institutions to work together to implement the Tobacco Control Regime and socialize the ‘no tobacco’ message, expressing his belief that this kind of collaboration would lead to further success.

The Sixth Constitutional Government has taken bold steps to reduce the use of tobacco and in so doing improve the health of the nation. The Tobacco Control Regime, approved by the Council of Ministers in 2015 and promulgated in June last year, seeks to ensure protection from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke, regulate the contents of tobacco products, introduce mandatory labeling of packaging to improve awareness and promote health education, ban advertising and establish other measures to reduce both demand for and supply of tobacco products.

Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira said at the time “Timor-Leste is taking a strong stance to deal with an impending health crisis that has the potential to rob thousands of our people of their health and indeed, their lives.” Studies in 2016 revealed that tobacco consumption in Timor-Leste was amongst the highest in the world with 70% of men and 42% of youth in the age group of 13 – 15 years consuming tobacco products.

The theme of the 2017 World No Tobacco Day “Tobacco – a threat to development” underscores the role that tobacco control plays in supporting health, development and the achievement of other global goals.

Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “the introduction of these new graphic warnings are another action that confirms how serious this Government is about reducing the use of tobacco. We cannot ignore the negative impact of tobacco use on our development and particularly the threat posed to the health of our young people. The Government’s promotion of public health in this area has been decisive and proactive, an approach that must continue in the months and years ahead to properly care for our people, invest in our youth and support our development. ”ENDS

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