(a registered NGO established in 2001)
The Tobacco Control Programme in Mauritius
Proposals to the Minister of Health and Quality of Life
- Introduce the new set of pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs.
The existing pictorial health warnings date back to 2009 and their appeal is decreasing with smokers.
- Conduct the International Tobacco Control (ITC) survey
The survey is carried out by the MIH and University of Waterloo, Canada. It generates highly valuable data to guide policy-making. If the survey is not carried out soon, the funding will lapse.
- Ban the operation of waterpipe (shisha) bars
The Public Health (Restrictions on Tobacco Products) Regulations 2008 states: “No person shall manufacture, import or sell a tobacco product for use in connection with a waterpipe.”
- Enforce smoking ban in nightclubs
The law bans smoking in nightclubs but compliance is poor as indicated by a survey carried out by VISA.
- Enforce smoking ban in hospitals
The law bans smoking in hospitals but compliance is not 100%, especially among medical and paramedical staff who should serve as role models.
- Amend the Public Health (Restrictions on Tobacco Products) Regulations 2008.
These amendments are long overdue. A committee was set up to discuss and finalize the amendments and several meetings were held.
- Develop a tobacco tax policy
The ITC report of 2012 shows that tobacco products are still affordable to smokers. Tobacco tax should aim to promote public health and should not be considered solely as an income-generating measure.
- Ban the importation of roll-your-own cigarettes
The Ministry of Industry lifted the prohibition on the importation of this product and rolling machines on 2 June 2015. VISA sent a mail of protest to the Minister concerned, with copy to the Prime Minister and Minister of Health.
- Consider inviting the ex-Minister of Health of Australia, Mrs Nicola Roxon, to Mauritius.
She is known for her exemplary work tobacco control in Australia and has received a number of awards for her achievements. She could share her experience to improve our tobacco control programme.