Apply laws against public smoking …Law enforcement agencies told
Law enforcement agencies in the country have been urged to apply the existing laws against tobacco use, especially the laws against smoking in public places, to stem the harmful tide of tobacco abuse.
”Smoking publicly has become the order of the day now and many seem to have forgotten about the dangers of this practice. It is time for the laws to be applied correctly.”
Dr. Baffour Awuah, Ag. Director Technical coordination Director _MOH made the call at the launch of the 2023 Tobacco Control Strategy and training on the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in Ghana products in Accra on Tuesday
It was organised by the FDA, UNDP WHO specialised agency for capacity building, with support from the ministry of health. Participants were drawn from Ghana bar association, GRA, national security, immigration, CSOs.
The programme will afford participants the opportunity to brainstorm and share ideas on governance-related issues and the need to control tobacco use in Ghana, especially among the youth.
According to Dr. Baffour Awuah Ag. Director, Technical coordination directorate_ MOH. He noted that government also passed the Public Health Act (851) in 2012 to take concrete steps to reduce tobacco use in Ghana, adding that provision of the Act included ban on smoking in public areas and tobacco advertising among others.
Dr. Baffour Awuah Ag. Director, Technical coordination directorate_ MOH. said “these bold steps were later followed with the passing of the tobacco control regulations which entered into force.
Despite these sustained promulgation of such legal tools to combat effects of tobacco use, he said efforts by the country had recently come under threat from the use of social media to control tobacco use.
He bemoaned that some people often used tobacco products, such as cigars and shisha and displayed them on social media, due to sheer ignorance of the dangers of tobacco usage or for monetary gains.
Dr. Baffour Awuah Ag. Director, Technical coordination directorate_ MOH. was of the view that such acts by people’s posed serious threat to the health of the youth, who sometimes blindly followed such entertainers and emulate their acts because they saw them as role models.
“Celebrities posting images of themselves smoking tobacco have negative impact on their followers and this act is not peculiar to Ghana alone, it is therefore important that all of us come together to devise strategies to stay one step ahead of this negative trend and this calls for collaboration and experience sharing,” he added.
In his submission, reiterated that leaders across the continent must not relent in their efforts to ensure tobacco use dropped drastically on the continent.
He said research had shown the devastating impact of tobacco abuse on the health of users, and even second-hand smokers, stressing that the time had come for Ghana to intensify the fight.
Story by Fada Amakye from Daily Sun