Recently, the parliament of Aruba approved the law “restriction of tobacco products.”
This law regulates and limits tobacco product use, particularly cigarettes, to elevate the long-term life quality and life span. This law is essential for public health. Cigarette smoking is not only hazardous to your health, but also persons who live, or are constantly near persons who smoke, namely secondhand smokers. In Aruba, 12.6% of the population aged 20 years and older smoke. Studies show that the use of cigarettes increases the risks of non-communicable diseases. These are long cancer, throat cancer, COPD, heart disease, diabetes type 2, obesity, and many more. Therefore, the introduction of this law in Aruba is essential for our community’s health. Smoking and its health consequences are a problem around the world. Various countries try to limit and regulate it. Aruba and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), follow the “Best Buy’ strategy of the World Health Organisation (WHO). In 2020 they made a National Prevention Plan to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and more. An essential point in the plan is to help with the prevention of NCDs s the introduction of a law to regulate and limit the use of cigarettes. Now that the law is approved, the process of implementation and supervision of the law follows. The law will take effect on January 1, 2022, with a transition period to allow cigarette smokers, commerce, and the community to adapt to the new law. After the transition period, the departments in charge of the supervision will start to control the implementation and can give fines for non-compliance, if necessary. The Department of Public Health will continue to inform about the law’s content, implementation, and supervision in the following weeks. With the introduction of this law, public health takes an enormous step in prevention and towards a healthier future.