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The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has organised a day’s training workshop in Accra for its regional officers and law enforcement agencies to update their knowledge on the implementation of tobacco control regulation 2016 L.I.2247.
The Legislative Instrument (L.I 2247) embedded in part six of the Public Health Act, 2012, (Act 851), empowers the FDA to reduce social acceptability of tobacco use, promote cessation, help users to quit and prevent initiation of tobacco use especially among the youth to improve the quality of life of the Ghanaian.
Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, the Chief Executive Officer of FDA said, the tobacco epidemic was one of the biggest public health threats the world ever faced, killing nearly six million people yearly, whilst over 600,000 were due to non-smokers being exposed to secondary smoke.
She said tobacco was extraordinarily dangerous to human health and highly damaging to national economies.
“Tobacco either smoked (cigarette, pipe, cigar, shisha) or smokeless (including chew and sniffed) are not exempted from the many of its associated negative effects.”
“In relation to this, the government introduced the tobacco control measures in Part Six of the Public Health Act, 2012 due to the recognition of the harmful effects of tobacco use and the need to protect her citizens from the harm of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke”, she added.
She commended the government for its support and other stakeholders in tobacco control for their enormous efforts to ensure the passage of the L I 2247.
Mrs Olivia Boateng, the Head, Tobacco and Substances of Abuse Department of the FDA in a presentation on the topic “Regulation of Tobacco and Tobacco products” said, the tobacco control measures were; prohibition in public places, packaging, labelling and health warning on package minimum age restriction fines and penalties, tobacco advertising, prohibition and sponsorship and public education against tobacco use.
She said the FDA had engaged the tobacco industries to have pictorial health warnings on their products, which have already been validated and have selected pictures for them to comply, adding that, “we have also engaged facility owners to educate them on the law as well”.
She said the FDA would also intensify public education especially in tertiary institutions with emphasis on the dangers associated with the use of shisha and electronic nicotine delivery systems which is very common among the youth as well as to foster citizens’ understanding of the law.
The areas covered by the 2016 L I 2247 are: requirements for areas designated for smoking, prohibitions in areas designated for smoking, display of no smoking signs, signs at areas designated for smoking and right of owner to prohibit smoking.
The rest are; prohibition of smoking in private vehicle, duties of owners or persons in charge of a public place or work place, depictions of tobacco in entertainment media and health warnings and messages for tobacco and tobacco product.
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