4 Nov 2013

Calls for ban of alcohol and cigarettes in American Samoa

6:26 am on 4 November 2013

The secretary of Samoan Affairs in American Samoa, Satele Galu Satele, has called for legislation banning the importation of alcohol and cigarettes as a way to fight the non communicable diseases crisis.

Satele told a panel discussion at the launch of the territory's NCD strategy last week that health officials are promoting a reduction in alcohol and smoking, two of the main risk factors for NCDs such as diabetes, heart failure and cancer.

He says there have also been calls for higher taxes but these are countered by businesses promoting the very products that health officials are trying to discourage.

Satele says this only leaves the option of enforcing a ban on imports of alcohol and cigarettes.

The secretary of Samoan Affairs says perhaps then the LBJ hospital will not have to treat so many people.