The World Health Organiztion has launched its Tobacco Free Pacific Campaign in a bid to help the region reduce smoking prevalence to less than 5 percent by 2025.
A tobacco control advisor, Ada Moadsiri says adult tobacco use for males in Kiribati is the highest in the region at 74 percent, and for women in Nauru, with 56 percent being smokers.
She while the smokefree goal is ambitious, it has support from communities and political commitment and she is confident it will be successful.
"Pacific Islands are taking action such as declaring smoke-free public places to protect people from the dangers of second-hand smoke. They are also raising tobacco taxes which makes them more expensive and thereby decreasing consumption of tobacco products, which then decreases death and disease, and they're also enforcing tobacco control legislation."
Ada Moadsiri says the project is funded by New Zealand Aid, which is also providing support to help fight smoking-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease.
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