20 Jul 2015

Cook Islands to ban manufacture of tobacco with law changes

7:47 am on 20 July 2015

New tobacco legislation in the Cook Islands aims to bring the country in line with best international practice.

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Photo: AFP

The cabinet has approved changes to the country's Tobacco Products Control Act which would ban the manufacture of tobacco products in the Cook Islands and the use of tobacco in certain public areas.

It would also mean the importers, distributors and sellers of tobacco products would have to hold a current licence and retailers would have to store products out of sight.

A policy manager at the health ministry, Valentino Wichman, says the amendments will improve health and strengthen the law.

"This is about better health outcomes for the people of the Cook Islands and is a necessary step for the health of our people. The current regulations provide for no smoking areas, however the interpretation of the specific clauses in the act and open to interpretation."

Valentino Wichman says consultations on the changes are planned.