Ghana to ban smoking in public places in November 2008..

October 29, 2008 - Ministry of Health's Mr Abraham Dwumah-Odoom, Deputy Minister of Health announced a ban in tobacco smoking at public places in November. He said the initiative would help reduce the health risks that tobacco smoking exposed non-smokers to and its resultant impact on the economy.

He acknowledged that although there were likely to be challenges in the implementation of the ban, the Ministry hoped to strengthen and formalise its links with relevant institutions and organisations to facilitate the implementation of the ban. "We believe the power of in-country coordinating networks of employers, unionised groups, directors and managers of public places cannot be underestimated in helping to build a collaborated strategy in protecting the citizenry from the hazards of smoking and second-hand smoke," Mr Dwumah-Odoom added. Mr Oscar Bruce, Vice President for the Coalition of NGOs in Tobacco Control, said passive smoking was a major public health threat and the only way to protect the public was through comprehensive smoke free air laws.

A Ghana Health Service survey conducted in 2005 also revealed that one-third of Junior High School pupils were exposed to the smoke.

Reference: Ghana to ban tobacco smoking in public, Ghana News, 10/28/2008.

Related news briefs: FCTC Member Ghana - NO Law Banning Sales of Tobacco to Minors.. and British American Tobacco (BAT) - 100 years in Africa..