Mauritius Health Communications Campaign
Mauritius has been at the forefront of tobacco control in Africa. Cigarette packs in Mauritius are mandated to carry some of the largest and most graphic health warnings to be found anywhere in the world. The country has also implemented legislation banning smoking in most public places, including restaurants, bars, and even vehicles carrying passengers. Mass media campaigns that focus on the health harms of smoking and secondhand smoke can bolster strong tobacco control policies by encouraging public support and compliance, and by further motivating quit attempts among smokers.
In 2011 WLF provided financial and technical support to the Mauritius Ministry of Health and Quality of Life in developing a national mass media campaign to increase public awareness about the health harms of tobacco use. The Australian ad “Sponge,” which has been proven to be effective among smokers in various countries, was adapted into TV and radio ads in Mauritian Creole and Bhojpuri. The campaign also included “Sponge” billboards across the country, mounted in the lead-up to, and during, the TV and radio campaign, which launched during World No Tobacco Day and aired for three weeks in May.