25 May 2021
‘World No Tobacco Day’ (WNTD) is on Monday, 31 May. Created by the World Health Organization (WHO), this year’s campaign focuses on ‘commit to quit’. This international health awareness day aims to support 100 million people worldwide in their attempt to give up tobacco through various initiatives. This is of critical importance because tobacco is one of the world’s leading causes of premature death, disability and reduction in healthy life years.
Not only can tobacco use cause serious illnesses to individuals through diseases such as cancer, heart disease and lung disease, it also has detrimental effects to those around them, through exposure to second-hand smoke. Tobacco use also has wider impacts on society and the economy through loss of productivity and increased pressure on health and social care services.
To help protect the St Helena community from the harm tobacco causes and to ensure the wellbeing of our population now and in the future, tobacco control legislation will be implemented over the coming year. The legislation will:
- Expand smoke-free premises to include premises open to the public, places of work vehicles used for business purposes
- Prohibit smoking in any vehicles with children aged under 18 present, to protect young people from second-hand smoke
- Require any person who wishes to import by any means and sell tobacco or related products to be registered
- Require sellers of tobacco to request ID to prove that young people are aged over 18 years
- Restrict the availability of e-cigarettes, certain types will be prohibited, and promotion will be prohibited
- Prohibit any kind of advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco or related products
- Stop 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
- Implement offences in relation to breaches of the legislation.
Further publicity and information sessions will take place ahead of the ‘go live’ date to support the community and businesses to implement these changes.
To complement the implementation of the legislation and to help smokers quit smoking, the Health Service Directorate has been working to redesign the St Helena Stop Smoking Service (SSS), to ensure it can support as many people as possible to quit smoking.
The nicotine found in tobacco is highly addictive which not only creates dependency but the behavioural and emotional ties to tobacco use (having a cigarette when stressed, when drinking alcohol, etc.) make it difficult to quit smoking. However, research has shown that smokers are twice as likely to quit when they access a professional service that offers behaviour change support from trained practitioners and pharmacotherapy, including Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). The new SSS on St Helena will provide this ongoing support for smokers who wish to quit. The SSS is currently in the process of being redeveloped and will launch later this year, but watch this space for more information about the launch of the new service.
Now more than ever is a great incentive to commit to quit as research has shown that smokers are more likely to develop serious disease with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers.
So why not make 2021 the year you commit to quit.
The Health Service Directorate will be promoting WNTD, to highlight the dangers of tobacco use, showcase the wider range of NRT products soon to be available on St Helena and talk about the new SSS.
When: Monday, 31May 2021
Time: 9am – 1pm
Where: The Jamestown Market
We hope to see you there!
#StHelena #AltogetherHealthier #WorldNoTobaccoDay
25 May 2021