Belmopan. May 31st, 2016. This year the World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing the public for plain packaging. That was the theme for World No Tobacco Day celebrated on May 31st, 2016 - “Get ready for plain packaging of tobacco products”.
The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) of the Ministry of Health held a small ceremony in front of its council offices in Belize City to promote this theme as they commemorate annually under World No Tobacco Day. A welcome address was delivered by the District Coordinator for Belize District and the Chair of this year’s activities, Mr. D’Alessandro Requena. He welcomed everyone to the day’s act ivies and encourage the guest to visit the information booths after the conclusion of the ceremony. Contributing remarks were done by the Director, NDACC, Mr. Esner Vellos. He spoke of the theme and what Belize is doing in that regard. He explained that plain packaging of tobacco products will restrict the use of logos, colors and brand images- and use graphic health images to discourage the sale of tobacco products, limit misleading packaging, and increase the effectiveness of health warnings. The bill for plain packaging; according to Mr. Vellos, is being drafted by CARICOM through the Bureau of Standards and it is expected to be in full effect within the next five years. The main address was done by, PAHO/WHO Belize Representative, Dr. Luis Roberto Escoto.
World No Tobacco Day is an opportunity to focus on tobacco products and its harmful effects. The Ministry encourages the public to visit the NDACC offices in your respective district for more information on Tobacco and other harmful drugs. Information is also available on the new initiatives of the Ministry of Health in the areas of policy development, legislation relating to the consumption of tobacco products, and the protection of nonsmokers as part of Belize’s commitment to the WHO framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Belize.