Since 1999, Mauritius has made signifi cant progress in tobacco control, and with new and improved legislation in 2008, Mauritius has emerged as one of the regional leaders in tobacco control. It has even emerged as a world leader in areas such as prohibiting corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and compelling the inclusion of very large graphic warning labels on cigarette packages (65 percent of the package's largest sides). This progress has been important to address high prevalence rates which, though on the decrease generally, remain very high in some groups (the rate for adult male daily smokers as of 2009 remains greater than 32 percent).
There is clear support for tobacco control at the highest levels in the government. The Ministry of Health and the attorney general's office have been particular leaders. The tobacco control civil society movement, led by ViSa, is small but very active and a crucial watchdog of both the industry and the government's efforts to combat tobacco use. Currently, the tobacco control community is seeking to assess the successes and challenges of the recent legislative and regulatory changes, including the always demanding task of enforcement.
In general, the newest regulations are more than FCTC-compliant across most areas including advertising, sponsorship and promotion; labeling and packaging; and smoke-free places. Though not a part of the latest legislation, a tobacco-specific taxation strategy has a preliminary foothold and remains an area ripe for further development.