Ministry of Health to develop a Policy geared at creating a smoke free environment in the Workplace
The Ministry of Health will soon develop a Policy, geared at creating a smoke free environment in the Workplace specifically at the Government Headquarters, after reports showed that Dominica which joined the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco (FCTC) control since 2007, has failed to implement the necessary Policies to control the use of the substance in Public places. In that regard, the Ministry of Health held a workshop on Tuesday October 5th, 2010 at the Fisheries Complex, in an effort to sensitize the various stakeholders on the implementation of the much needed Policy.
The workshop which was entitled “Creating a smoke free environment in the Workplace” was aimed at strengthening awareness of Government Employees at the Government Headquarters on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), promoting the implementation of a Tobacco Free Policy at Government Headquarters and reducing the exposure of persons to second hand smoke at the Government Headquarters.
While giving an overview of the Project, Research Officer at the National Drug Prevention Unit Miss Martha Jarvis said that the smoke free workplace will enable and promote a healthier and safer environment at the Government Headquarters for all persons. According to her, both clients and staff have the right to be in a totally smoke free environment when in or around the building.
Coordinator of the National Drug Prevention Unit Jacinta Bannis said that the Unit welcomes the initiative since Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death in the World today, as it kills more than 5 million people per year more than tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Malaria. According to Miss Bannis, unless urgent actions are taken, Tobacco will kill 1 billion people in this Century.
Meanwhile, Coordinator of the National Health Promotional Unit Mrs. Helen Royer believes a lot of benefits can be derived from the implementation of such a Policy.