Fiji – Ministry of Health publishes new Tobacco Control Regulations

The Minister of Health signed new Tobacco Control Regulations, which were published in the Government of Fiji Gazette on 8 February. In doing so the Minister was exercising the powers conferred by section 40 of the Tobacco Control Decree, adopted by the Cabinet in December 2010.

The Regulations require that as of 1 July 2013 all tobacco packages must carry pictorial health warnings. In the case of cigarette packages, such warnings will cover 30% of the front and 90% of the back of packs (for an overall average of 60% of the front/back). English text will appear on the front, and bilingual text (iTaukei and Hindi) on the back. A series of five pictorial warnings are to appear on an equal basis. The Regulations also describe in detail the warning requirements for tobacco products other than cigarettes.

Other measures contained in the Regulations include the following:

- wholesalers, distributors and retailers of tobacco products are obliged to register annually, while vendors of suki (locally grown and cured tobacco), and manufacturers, distributors and importers of tobacco products, must apply for a license to conduct their business;
- public places that are to become smoke-free are defined: any workplace to which the public has access; any enclosed entranceway, foyer, lobby, stairway, passageway, elevator or toilet to which the public have, or more than one worker has, access; any room in which educational instruction is being given; any area of a shop or other retail place to which the public has access; eating houses to which the public has access; and designated no smoking areas in taverns, bars and night clubs to which the public has access;
- authorized officers for the purposes of the Decree and the Regulations are prescribed.