Thursday, 27 March 2008 11:38 AM

Gov't to Raise Excise on Beer and Tobacco Products

It is very encouraging to know that our political leaders are beginning to realize that working towards a better health for Solomon islanders is not performed by Doctors, Nurses and other allied health workers alone. Rather, it is everybody understanding how each citizen from a rural dweller with subsistence life style to law makers, can contribute individually to better their own health and those of others around. Collectively, it produces a healthy population and nation that will have a positive impact on our country's developmental endeavors. This is not only for smoking or alcohol related health problems but applies to other health problems as well like diabetes, hypertension, Sexually transmitted illness etc. While knowledge maybe a requirement to practice a healthy lifestyle it does not equate changes to destructive behaviors.

It is changing these very behaviors that I applaud the Minister of finance for introducing the raise on excise on beer and tobacco products. Health workers cannot do it alone. They need parallel actions too. Increasing the price of tobacco related products will definitely reduce the amount of cigarette smokers, boosting public health efforts in trying to curb the often costly and fatal effects of smoking. Other island governments have introduced similar action and are currently seeing a decline in the use of tobacco related products. This is indirectly changing people's behaviors for a better healthier lifestyle.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Ishmael Togamae and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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