Secondary schools support the ban for smoking in public places

While alcohol consumption has been recorded as one of the many legal substances contributing to the increase of chronic non-communicable diseases on the island, the National Drug Abuse Prevention Unit is saying that the negative effect of tobacco smoking is also a major contributing factor.


Therefore, the Ministry of Health has taken several steps to assist in alleviating the abuse of tobacco in the country, with one of their main programmes targeting secondary schools on the island.


Director of the National Drug Abuse Prevention Unit, Jacinta Bannis says a recent survey in Dominica showed that tobacco use represents 16.6 percent for males and 3.2 percent among females.


According to her, a series of discussions held at secondary schools in Dominica last November, where the many dangers associated with second-hand smoking were highlighted, also supported moves to ban smoking in public places.


January 2010 is being observed as drug awareness month, under the theme ‘think health…not drugs’.


Bannis says during the month their awareness programmes will continue at the schools, since they believe that early intervention is critical in helping children make good choices.


She added that parents, being the first teachers have an important role to play in their decisions as it relates to drug use and abuse.


The National Drug Abuse Prevention Unit says the theme chosen to observe the month is in keeping with the Prime Minister’s suggestion in making health a priority issue in 2011.

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