ATCC Lauds Passage of Ghana Public Health Bill, Urges Speed on Presidential Assent
7/14/2012 7:00:55 PM -
July 13, 2012 - Africa Tobacco Control Consortium has applauded the Ghanaian Parliament on the passage of the country's Public Health Bill, which contains Tobacco Control Measure, as a demonstration of respect for the collective will of the Ghanaian people and its resolve to ensure that the health of every citizen is protected.
"While congratulating the Ghana Parliament, we wish to urge the President to sustain this momentum by signing this bill into law without delays as an indication of his commitment to ensuring that the will of the people prevails. This will further reinforced the leadership position that Ghana has taken in Africa, as a party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), when it signed the treaty in 2005" says Dr. Ebeh Kodjo Fabrice, Executive Secretary of the African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA).
According to the Africa Coordinator of Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), Mr. Tih Armstrong Ntiabang, "this bold step by the Ghana parliament in passing the bill, particularly the Sixth Part of the Bill, which is on tobacco control measures, is a clear reflection of the regard that the Ghanaian Government puts on international treaties, and the value it places on the health and well-being of its people". He added that "signing this bill into law by the President without much delays will not only keep Ghana in her leadership role on health matter in the region, it will create the atmosphere for quick implementation of its provision, thereby reducing the burden or tobacco epidemic in the country."
Faced with the devastating effects of the tobacco epidemic, world leaders in 2003 adopted the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a binding international treaty. Today, 175 countries, plus the European Union, are Parties to the FCTC, accounting for almost 90 percent of the world's population including Ghana.
The Ghana Public Health Bill contains Tobacco Control Measures that prohibits smoking in public places, bans advertising, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco and tobacco products, bans sale of tobacco or tobacco products to underage and mandates the printing of health warnings on tobacco packs.
Currently, according to World Health Organisation, tobacco is the leading cause of global death and illness, and its use is responsible for 1 in 10 adult deaths. If current patterns continue it will kill more than 8 million people per year by 2030. Up to half of the world's more than 1 billion smokers will die prematurely of a tobacco-related disease.
ATCC therefore urges other African countries with pending tobacco control legislation in the parliament, or those awaiting presidential assent on their tobacco control bills to follow example of Ghana.
The Africa Tobacco Control Consortium is a coalition of public health organizations focused on preventing a tobacco epidemic in Africa, by assisting national governments and civil society to implement policies that are in line with the requirements of the WHO FCTC, the world's first public health treaty. The Consortium is coordinated by the American Cancer Society in partnership with the Africa Tobacco Control Regional Initiative (ATCRI), Africa Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA), Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union).
Media Advocacy & Communications Coordinator
Africa Tobacco Control Consortium