The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has warned all shop outlets involved in importing and selling ‘smoking candies’ to the public, especially children, to ‘STOP’ immediately.
Dr Geoff Kenilorea, Director of Non- Communicable Disease Program within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services strongly emphasized the statement yesterday.
Dr Kenilorea said, the Ministry is aware of emerging reports of new packet of candies for children depicting cigarettes is currently on sale in Honiara.
He said, conducting such business is illegal according to the Tobacco Control Act 2010.
“The shops must be very aware that they have the responsibilities to follow the country’s law and to protect our communities. And our call here from this press conference to them is they need to remove the illegal candies from their shelves. And they must also know that if they do not remove them and if they are caught with those candies in their shops, they are at risk of facing some harsh penalties.”
Dr Kenilorea specified various penalties for such conducts under the Act.
“If we catch up to them, the penalties are quite severe and the people could actually be put in prison for a maximum of two years for the first offence and they could be fined up to twenty thousand dollars. If the company is doing this, then the company will be fined for the first offence up to $500,000.”
By: Fred Osifelo