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General News Wed, 10 Sep 2008

NGO calls for ban on tobacco advertisements

Accra, Sept. 10, GNA-Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), a Non-Governmental Organization which aims at enhancing education on tobacco control and health issues has called on the Ministry of Health and the Foods and Drugs Board to institute measures to ban tobacco advertisements in the country.

A statement issued in Accra on Wednesday and signed by its Programmes Director, Mr. Labran M. Massawudu said the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which was ratified by Ghana in June 2004, and deposited at the United Nations Headquarters in November, 2004, became an international law on February 2005, was being violated by tobacco industries in the country. It said international tobacco companies, knowing that the international tobacco control treaty was in force continued with tobacco advertisements, promotion and sponsorship targeting the youth and poor communities.

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"If you tour most of the streets in town including Nima, Maamobi, Kanda, Ridge and other deprived communities, you will see posters and umbrella of Pall Mall, Gold Seal and Capital Cigarettes pasted on walls, trees, and shops close to school." He added that, the messages are directed and attractive to children and the youth and that the vehicles of the companies sometimes patrol the schools day in and day out which does not augur well for smooth learning. It said last year, during the Eid-il Fitr celebration Gold Seal and Capital Cigarettes collaborated to organize a rap and dance competition for the youth at Maamobi to climax the festival. The statement therefore advised the youth not to entertain such rap and dance, shows this year since the events are a violation of the article 13 of the FCTC Law.

The statement calls on the government therefore to take the necessary steps in accordance with the constitution of Ghana to ensure that the appropriate policies are developed to implement a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship.

Source: GNA
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