FCTC Member Ghana - NO Law Banning Sales of Tobacco to Minors..

September 25, 2008 - The Focal Person for Tobacco Control at the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has appealed to the government to hasten the approval of the bill banning the sale of cigarettes to minors. Currently there is no law banning the sale of cigarettes to children so they are able to buy them easily.

According to a survey conducted by the Ghana Youth Tobacco Survey among 9,990 junior high school pupils in the country in 2005, 33.9 percent of students buy cigarettes (rather cheap) from the store and of these, 55.9 percent bought cigarettes from stores where they were not refused purchase, despite their ages. Furthermore, the study found out that approximately one in seven students used one form of tobacco, while four percent of the students smoked cigarettes and 12.5 percent used tobacco products other than cigarettes.

It is pointed out that even if the bill eventually passes the children must be educated on the dangers of tobacco smoking.

The Ministry of Health and the Food and Drugs Board, in line with the constitution of Ghana, is urged to design and implement a comprehensive policy to ensure a total "ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship" in the country.

Related news brief: British American Tobacco (BAT) 100 years in Africa.

Reference: Cigarette sales to minors - hasten bill, GHS Appeals By ModernGhana, 9/24/2008 and Ghana: Government Urged to Ban Tobacco Adverts, Public Agenda (ACCRA), allAfrica.com, 9/15/2008.

Ghana has ratified (June 2004) the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.

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