Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), human rights media advocacy organization has observed that strengthening the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control -that is ratified by 39 out of the 46 countries in Africa is one of the big challenges for countries in the African region.  According to GLOMEF, developing comprehensive tobacco control legislation and building capacity for its effective enforcement are crucial for the Member states in the region. In a statement signed by the Chief Executive Officer of GLOMEF, Raphael Godlove Ahenu to mark this year’s World No Tobacco Day, GLOMEF noted that African countries are experiencing an increasing rate of tobacco use.


The statement said the prevalence of tobacco use in Africa is between 8 to 43% for boys and 5 to 30% for girls. Tobacco,  Mr. Ahenu said is the leading preventable cause of death in the world and its control actions will prevent young people from starting to use tobacco, help current tobacco users to quit and protect non-smokers from exposure to second-hand smoke. The statement therefore expressed concern over the delay by Ghana’s Parliament to expedite action on the passage of the Tobacco Control Bill and prays Parliament to ensure early passage of the bill.


The statement further said the fast growth of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa is leading to larger and more accessible markets and an increasing of the African consumers’ purchasing power. In addition to that there are the intensive efforts by the tobacco industry to expand African markets and prevention is clearly the most cost-effective measure. Mr. Ahenu said comprehensive monitoring informs will help governments and civil society on how the tobacco epidemic harms their countries, and helps them to allocate tobacco control resources where they are most needed and will be most effective. The Statement also called on the Media to join the fight on tobacco control.

Source: Pat Aboagyewaa


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