THE Tobacco Control Act passed by the National Parliament on the 18th of March 2010 was a joke says Burns Creek Paramount Chief Peter Usi.
Speaking Solomon Star newspaper on Thursday chief Usi said bus drivers, conductors and the Chinese shop owners and sales assistants are the most obvious violators in breaching the Tobacco Control Act.
He said these group of workers perhaps through total ignorance of the ill health risks and dangers paused to their own lives and other peoples health continue to puff out tobacco smoke in areas of work especially places prohibited under the act.
.Chief Usi said such bad practice should be a cause for concern by everyone and calls for a shake up on the health and law enforcement authorities to ensure those who defy and continue to breach the law should be dealt with accordingly.
Chief Usi had questioned why the government of the day failed to ensure practical enforcement of the 2010 Tobacco Control Act 2010 by prosecuting those who contemplate breaking the law by smoking in public areas prohibited under the Act.
“It seems that governments are very quick when it comes to passing bills into laws but have miserably failed to enforce complying with the requirements of such laws ”he said.
Chief Usi said a classic example of that is the failure to monitor and punish those who smoke in public areas prohibited from smoking under the Tobacco Control Act.
Chief Usi said its high time government of the day and the responsible authorities such as the Honiara city council and the police do their job by making sure members of the public vulnerable to health risks caused by smokers are protected.
He points out that the Tobacco Control Act is very clear in specifying that the “employer or a person-in-charge of a workplace shall ensure that no person shall smoke in any indoor part of the workplace”.
Instead an employer is required to designate a smoke free zone area outdoors within the premises of the work place for those who smoke to avoid ill health risks paused to passive or none smokers.
Solomon Star was unable to get any comments from the responsible authorities about chief Usi’s complaints when this paper went to print.
By BIRIAU WILSON SAENI