World Tobacco day: MoH-WHO organizes workshop on benefits of quitting tobacco

World Tobacco day: MoH-WHO organizes workshop on benefits of quitting tobacco

DILI, 02 june 2021 (TATOLI) – The World Health Organization (WHO), is working together with the Ministry of Health (MoH), organized a workshop on the benefits of quitting tobacco to reduce tobacco use in Timor-Leste, to help Timorese smokers quit smoking and prevent them from getting the higher risk of developing severe diseases.

Speaking at the workshop, the Deputy Minister of Health, Bonifacio Mau Coli dos Reis said that Tobacco use has predominantly negative effects on human health and causing many chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cancer, breathing problems, heart disease and hypertension, heart attack, stroke and so on.

Mr. Mau Coli said it is underlined in the official data of the Government that these non-communicable diseases, including derrame cerebral (stroke) and cardiac arrest, are responsible for 45 percent of all deaths in Timor-Leste, saying 75 percent are between the age of 35 and 59.

He said therefore to prevent smoking-related deaths in the country, the coordination between the relevant ministries is important to increase the retail price of tobacco products through higher taxes.

The Decree-Law No. 14/2016 of June 8 on the Tobacco Control Regime is the primary law governing tobacco control in Timor-Leste. It establishes smoke-free places; restrictions on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship; and basic requirements related to packaging and labeling.

Mr. Mau Coli urged the relevant ministries to accelerate the implementation of the decree, adding that the Ministry of Health would carry out a healthy lifestyle campaign and health education also prepare facilities to support those who wish to quit smoking.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Health, I called on the communities to quit and avoid smoking as this bad habit affects our health and wasting our money because it affects every organ in our body and we would get the diseases,” Mau Coli made the comments at the opening ceremony of the workshop, at Novo Turismo Hotel hall in Dili, today.

The WHO representative to Timor-Leste Arvind Mathur said that WHO is partnering with the Ministry of Health, saying, therefore, it has always committed to providing all supports to the ministry.

“Firstly, I compliment the Ministry of Health for starting tobacco cessation services. Secondly, we are also working with the ministry to establish a tobacco quitline. The quit-line would be like a phone hotline, so anybody who wish to discuss how to quit tobacco use, then that hotline would be available,” he said. 

“We are working with the Ministry of Health and partners, customs, PNTL, and Civil Society, all of them to increase our advocacy and increase tobacco taxes. Fourthly, we are also working with the Ministry of Health for increasing, enhancing, strengthening the monitoring, and enforcement of the decree-law because like I said what do I do if somebody is smoking inside a restaurant. So, I want to see that there is an increase in monitoring and measures for adhering to these stipulations which are already in the law,” said Mathur.


Jornalista: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafael Belo


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