The tobacco epidemic is a global problem with serious implications for public health; and among others, social, economic and environmental consequences. As such, this warrants an effective, appropriate and comprehensive local response, with support from local, regional and international stakeholders.
Tobacco consumption and its attributable negative health outcomes such as disease, disabilities and death impose a burden not only on families and the poor, but also on national health systems. This has forced countries around the world to take action. Evidence-based research purports that prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke is associated with still births and health and developmental complications in children. Many children and many adolescents are now smoking; many more women are also now smoking.
The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was born out of the World Health Organization (WHO), and mandated all participating countries to follow a policy position and adopt some pre-determined guidelines, whilst tailoring their approach to tobacco prevention and control in their respective jurisdiction. In this process the Tobacco Control Act, (Chapter 30:04) (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) and Tobacco Control Regulations (2013) of Trinidad and Tobago were created.
VISION: A Tobacco-free Trinidad and Tobago.
MISSION: To foster individual, community and government responsibility to prevent and reduce tobacco use by enabling multi-sectoral participation in the tobacco control.
- To prevent the initiation of tobacco use especially among young people.
- To promote cessation of tobacco use.
- To prevent/eliminate exposure of non-smokers to second-hand tobacco smoke.
- To institute a management structure for the coordination of tobacco control efforts.
- To monitor and evaluate programme and plan implementation
The following principles will guide the tobacco control efforts:
- Tobacco control activities will be evidence-based
- The emphasis will be on prevention
- The strategies and actions will focus on building partnerships
- Cost-effective interventions will be used
- The main target population will be the youth
- Tobacco control will be part of an overall programme towards the adoption of healthy lifestyles
- The efforts must be sustainable
- Disseminating information and providing education
- Enhancing skills
- Enhancing services and support
- Modifying policies
- Enforcing legislation
- Anchoring tobacco control strategies and activities in relevant planning documents at national and other levels
Pursuant to Part II of the Act the Tobacco Control Unit was created with the mandate for ensuring that the appropriate legal framework, policies and relevant structures are in place to facilitate tobacco control measures in order to protect the health and safety of our citizens, whilst simultaneously contributing to policy at the international level. There are serious concerns regarding the impact of advertising, promotions and sponsorship on tobacco use, illicit manufacturing, trade and sale to young children.
The Unit falls under the purview of the Ministry of Health and seeks to enhance the public’s awareness of the hazards of tobacco consumption, and to provide persons with information to make fully-informed decisions about tobacco use.
Tobacco Control Act, 2009
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Tobacco Control Regulations, 2013
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Tobacco Licence Application Form
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Tobacco Control Unit
2nd Floor Sacred Heart Building
16-18 Sackville Street
Tel: (868) 285-9126; (868) 625-1686
Fax: (868) 623-2392