Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have urged Parliament to adopt tobacco control regulations to save lives in the country.
Currently, in Ghana, according to statistics from the Tobacco Atlas, 50 Ghanaian men get killed by tobacco every week and this number is expected to grow if urgent steps are not taken.
“Even more troubling is that 32,500 boys and 21,000 girls smoke cigarettes in Ghana each day.
…Tobacco use and tobacco smoking is the number one leading cause of preventable death in the world today,” the report revealed.
The Tobacco Atlas stated that “globally, tobacco use killed 100 million people in the 20th Century, much more than all deaths in World War 1 and 2 combined,” they noted in press statement issued by spokesperson of the Coalition on Tobacco Control Regulations, Mr. Labram Musah.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), tobacco-related deaths will number around 1 billion in the 21st Century if current smoking patterns continue.
Tobacco products are the cheapest products on the Ghanaian market and go for as low as 0.15 pesewas.
A ban on single sale of tobacco products will reduce tobacco use by minors and the poor.
Globally, countries are formulating policies that will effectively control the use of tobacco, especially among the youth.
Research has showed that women and children are the most affected by tobacco.
Tobacco use is a major risk factor to non-communicable diseases.
80,000 to 100,000 young people around the world become addicted to tobacco every day.
It is in view of this that the Coalition on the Tobacco Control Regulations; an umbrella coalition of civil society organizations (CSOs) is calling on government for the immediate passage of the Tobacco Control Regulations (Legislative Instruments (LIs)) by Parliament to save present and succeeding generations from the scourge of tobacco use.
The Coalition on Tobacco Control Regulation is encouraged by initiatives of the Ministry of Health, Food and Drugs Authority, Parliamentary Select Committee on Health and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Subsidiary Legislation to swiftly adopt the draft Tobacco Control Regulations when Parliament reconvenes in October 2016.
The CSOs also advocated for the passage of the Public Health Act of 2012 (ACT 851) which includes Tobacco Control Measures.
This was achieved through the support of government and Parliament.
Over the past four years, CSOs have engaged government in the development of a draft Tobacco Control Regulation which when adopted will reduce tobacco deaths, heart diseases, infertility, lung cancers and disabilities resulting from tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
Furthermore, tobacco causes extreme poverty and this is evident in the fact that in developing countries, heads of families spend 10 to 15 per cent of their household income to buy tobacco products, depriving families of basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, school fees etc.
The Coalition supports the Ministry of Health and Parliament determination to ensure the adoption of yet another comprehensive Tobacco Control law.
“We are delighted to know that the draft Tobacco Control Regulation has the following key provisions: a Pictorial Health Warnings (PHWs) covering 65% at the top of the front and back of tobacco products packages, banning the sale of single sticks of cigarette/tobacco products and banning a pack of tobacco products containing less than 20 sticks, a comprehensive smoke-free interventions ensuring indoor public places areas are smoke-free.
Source: Ghana/todaygh.com/Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu