22 July 2020
New Tobacco Control Legislation for St Helena was approved by Legislative Council at their Formal Meeting on Tuesday, 30 June 2020. The Legislation will come into force once the supporting Regulations are finalised and approved by Executive Council (ExCo). A communications programme highlighting the changes in Legislation will be delivered to the public, including the dates the Legislation will come into effect in the coming months.
St Helena, with support from Public Health England (PHE), has taken a comprehensive approach to tackling smoking on-Island. The new Legislation includes a range of measures which will help to protect the community from second-hand smoke and make tobacco less attractive, affordable and accessible for minors. In the last two years, smoking prevalence has fallen on-Island and the new Legislation will protect future generations from the harms of tobacco.
The Tobacco Control Legislation:
- Prohibits any kind of advertising and marketing of tobacco
- Stops sellers from breaking up cigarette packs and selling ‘single’ cigarettes, making it difficult for young people to start smoking and help others to stop smoking
- Requires sellers of tobacco to request ID to prove that young people are aged over 18 years
- Prohibits smoking in any vehicles with children aged under 18 present, to protect young people from second-hand smoke
- Restricts the availability of e-cigarettes – certain types will be prohibited, and promotion will be prohibited.
Any person who wishes to import by any means and sell tobacco or related products must also be registered and all tobacco must be sourced from the UK or South Africa. No individual may import tobacco or any related products. This will allow for secondary legislation in the next two years to ensure that all tobacco sold is in plain packs, without attractive branding and with large graphic health warnings.
Chairman of the Public Health Committee, Councillor Derek Thomas, said:
“Based on World Health Organization (WHO) research, smoking is the world’s leading cause of premature death, disability and the loss of ‘healthy life years’. On St Helena, ‘Non-Communicable Diseases’ which include heart attacks, strokes, type two diabetes, lung and kidney disease, and cancer, are the most common causes of people losing their health and quality of life earlier than they should. The number of smokers in our community is higher than elsewhere and it is especially high amongst our young adults.”
As part of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, PHE has been supporting the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) to strengthen their compliance with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The FCTC includes policy and regulatory measures to tackle the supply and demand of tobacco and stronger implementation has been associated with reductions in smoking prevalence. PHE works on full implementation of FCTC in UKOTs by support with policy and legislative briefings and conducting face to face capacity building workshops.
#StHelena #HealthDirectorate #AltogetherHealthier
22 July 2020