World No Tobacco Day, marked on 31 May every year, is a day of reflection for the global tobacco control community, governments and civil society organizations on the progress made in the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of the World Health Organization (WHO FCTC). Since its adoption by the World Health Assembly in 2004, the FCTC has been ratified by 187 countries, thus becoming one of the most successful treaties ever adopted in the history of the United Nations. While some countries have made significant progress implementing the FCTC, others are struggling to domesticate it due a number of factors, including lack of resources and political will and the interference of the tobacco industry in tobacco control.
VISA marked World No Tobacco Day 2016 by organizing the following activities:
Training of 200 officers of the Mauritius Police Force
The training aimed at sensitizing police officers on health, social, economic and environmental consequences of tobacco use and improving enforcement of the Public Health (Restrictions on Tobacco Products) Regulations 2008. Resources persons from the Ministry of Health, Mauritius Institute of Health, University of Mauritius and VISA facilitated the workshops.A total of five one-day workshops was held at the Police Training School, Beau Bassin.
Organization of a Smoke-Free Campaign
The campaign aimed at discouraging smoking in public transport, namely taxis and buses by conducting the following activities:
– Fixing of ‘No Smoking’ signs in taxis and buses as prescribed by the Public Health (Restrictions on Tobacco Products) Regulations 2008;
– Display of banners in the vicinity of each campaign area;
– Motivation of taxi and bus drivers, bus conductors and the public on the hazards of exposure to tobacco smoke by a team of over 50 volunteers in the vicinity of bus and taxi stations; and
– Distribution of educational materials to the public in the vicinity of the campaign areas.
The campaign was held from Friday 13 to Tuesday 31 May 2016 in the following places:
- Souillac bus station and CheminGrenier taxi stand;
- Riviere du Rempart bus station and taxi stand;
- Mahebourg taxi stand and bus station;
- Flacq bus station and taxi stand;
- Rose Hill bus station and taxi stand;
- Curepipe bus station and taxi stand;
- Port Louis Victoria bus station and taxi stand;
- Port Louis North bus station and taxi stand; and
- PlaineVerte bus station and taxi stand.