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Tobacco bill to be launched in May

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THE 2010 Tobacco bill regulations is in its final stage and should be launched in May of next year, says chairman of the Tobacco committee taskforce Dr Cedric Alepandeva.

He said what they are trying to finalise are the criterion for who should be eligible to be licensed to sell the tobacco product and the graphics.

“We are developing the criterion and charge for licensing and the graphics before forwarding it to the Attorney General to finalise and present it to cabinet for blessing,” Dr Alepandeva said.

The chairman said they have decided on seven different graphics in the area of second hand smoking, pregnant woman, child mouth and lung cancer effect.

Dr Alepandeva stressed that Solomon Islands will be the first country in the South Pacific to have graphic warning effects of smoking on its cigarette packaging.

He said the plan to use local graphics if possible.

Meanwhile, the taskforce chairman said after the AG finalises the regulations, they will present it to cabinet for deliberation, then meet again with the tobacco company before taking it back for final cabinet approval.

By Daniel Namosuia