Tanzania - call for public smoking areas..

December 23, 2009 - Lobby wants smokers allotted special areas. Hotel owners and operators of public recreational centres have been urged to allocate special areas for cigarette smoking customers as a way of reducing diseases caused by tobacco smoking.

The advice was given yesterday by Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum general secretary Lutgard Kagaruki at a one-day workshop for owners and managers of hotel and recreational centres held in Dar es Salaam. Kagaruki said the aim of the seminar was to educate hotel operators on the impact of cigarette smoke to smoking and non-smoking customers, stressing that cigarette smoke affected both smokers and non-smokers. “Some hotel owners don’t assign special areas for smokers for fear of losing customers,” he said.

She said in developed countries where people were more educated about the effects of cigarette smoke, hotel and recreational places got many customers because they assigned special areas for smokers.

She said the government spent approximately USD 30 million per year on treating cancer patents, most likely caused by cigarette smoke.

“For every single shilling the government earns from the tobacco business, about six shillings are used to treat cancer patients. The government should look for alternative ways of reducing tobacco use in order to save both the people's lives and money”, she said. Lutgard Kagaruki about tobacco control in Tanzania.

For his part, Dr Ally Mzige, a specialist in social and family health, said that cigarette smoke caused various diseases including diabetes, lung cancer, and asthma as well as giving birth to premature babies. He said that cigarette smoke contained about 4000 chemicals, out of which 60 caused cancer.

Background: Tanzania banned smoking in many public places in July 2003, with smoke-free zones declared on public transport, as well as in schools and hospitals.
The government also banned the selling of tobacco to under 18s and advertising on radio and television and in newspapers. Health officials said they hoped the ban would "create an environment that will help to make the society a non-smoking one". (Smoking curbs: The global picture , BBC, 7/1/2009)

Reference: Lobby wants smokers allotted special areas by Zuwena Shame, IPPMedia.com, SOURCE: The GUARDIAN, 12/22/2009.

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