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NGO launches report on implementation of FCTC
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Health News of Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Source: GNA

NGO launches report on implementation of FCTC

Accra, Nov. 9, GNA - Government has been asked to expedite action on the passage of the Tobacco Bill, to reduce the burden of tobacco related diseases on the citizenry and economy.

Mr Issa Ali, Executive Director of the Alternative Development (VALD), a health oriented non-governmental organisation (NGO), on Tuesday made the call at the launch of the Civil Society Shadow Report on Tobacco Control, in Accra on Tuesday.

He said: 93The challenges involved in preventing tobacco use will be minimised if we can eliminate activities of the tobacco industry through passage of the bill into law".

Mr Ali commended government for the enthusiasm and commitment in the fight against tobacco use. He appealed to the authorities to ensure the passage of the bill to set the tone for the creation of an enabling environment to fully implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of which Ghana was a signatory.

Mr Ali said the shadow report was to assess the country's compliance to key provisions in the framework.

The provisions mandated government to come out with a tobacco law, increase tax on tobacco products to make it less affordable and inaccessible to minors, introduce pictorial advertising and complete ban on advertising.

Mr Ali said the report indicated that these provisions had not been fully achieved and asked government to increase taxes to raise revenue to finance health related ailments as a result to tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke in accordance with the FCTC.

The report also recommended that pictorial advertising be increased from 50 to 80 per cent on the package to caution the non-reading members of society as well as the point of sale display of tobacco products.

Mr Nortey Dua, a Psychologist and a Lecturer at the Ghana Medical School, said it was unfortunate that the report was silent on the ban on smoking in public places, a portion of the FCTC that protected society from the harmful effects of tobacco.

He was disappointed at the absence of key personalities including the Minister of Health or his representative at the function which advocated for the well-being of Ghanaians.

Representatives of the Coalition of NGOs in Tobacco Control and Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health in solidarity messages commended VALD for the initiative, and called on government to pass the tobacco bill to reduce the effect of tobacco on society and the economy.

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