17/12/2013

Non-smokers will be protected under ban of public smoking

A Regulatory Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Miss Evado Avotri, has stated that the ban placed on smoking in public places is to protect the non-smoker from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting on tobacco control measures of the Public Health Act organized by the FDA at Takoradi, Miss Avotri said the harmful effects of secondhand smoke were numerous, and included cancer, respiratory diseases, heart diseases, worsening asthma, and heart attack.

Miss Avotri said public places specified in the Public Health Act where smoking was prohibited included all workplaces, factories, offices, restaurants, places where children were cared for, stadiums, educational institutions, transport terminals, cinemas and retail and wholesale establishments, including shopping malls and markets. Pall Mall cigarettes.

She called on the general public to help enforce the prohibitions by insisting on their rights to a smoke-free environment.

Miss Avotri said section 67 of the Public Health Act highlighted the need for the Ghana Health Service to ensure that persons addicted to tobacco were offered treatment and cessation services.

She said the FDA had come out with guidelines on designated smoking areas which were places set aside for smoking in a workplace or in public places to prevent smoke from spreading to non-smoking areas.

Earlier, in a welcome address, Mr. Solomon Agampim, Western Regional Officer of FDA, said the tobacco control measures of the law covered key areas such as tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, packaging and labeling of tobacco products, points of sale health warning, public education against tobacco use, treatment of tobacco addiction and sale of tobacco products.

He said it had been proven that comprehensive smoke-free laws improved health, motivated smokers to quit the habit and helped to reduce tobacco consumption.

Mr. Agampim said the incidence of tobacco use continued to drop in countries that had effective tobacco control laws and that also vigorously implemented those laws.

“We have to show that we are not ready to sacrifice the lives of our children and our future leaders for just a puff, a pinch  or a sniff”, he said.

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