NOUMEA, New Caledonia—This World No Tobacco Day on Tuesday, May 31, the territory of Wallis and Futuna is getting involved in the fight against smoking by developing a strategy to inform smokers about the implications of tobacco use and offer them support to quit the habit.
The “Tackling Our Addiction” campaign will be launched tomorrow by Health prevention staff with the support of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Posters have been developed in partnership with SPC’s Public Health Division, available in three languages(French, Futunien and Wallisien), and the islands’ pharmacy has arranged for a supply of nicotine substitutes to assist those who want to quit smoking.
During the third quarter of this year, volunteer doctors will attend a training session to learn how to conduct individual smoking-cessation interviews in order to help patients who want to stop smoking and, in that way, assist the community in the fight against tobacco use.
According to a survey carried out in 2010, some 42.6 percent of the population of Wallis and Futuna are smokers.
As part of this global awareness day about the scourge of tobacco on society, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reminds us that smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of death. Tobacco use kills nearly six million people every year.
According to WHO, one person dies every six seconds because of tobacco.
WHO also recalls that nearly 80 percent of the billion smokers on the planet live in low and middle-income countries, where the burden of smoke-related morbidity and mortality is the highest. Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, cause an increase in health costs and hinder economic development.
This World No Tobacco Day, SPC is calling on all Pacific governments and adminstrations to strengthen their tobacco control policies as part of the Tobacco Free Pacific 2025 target and the region’s attempts to reign in its non-communicable disease (NCD) crisis.
SPC and the Kingdom of Tonga will host a Pacific NCD Summit from 20-22 June in Nuku’alofa at which the region and its development partners will consider fresh action to reduce the incidence and burden of NCDs.