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31.05.2006 Health

MPs call for stricter controls on tobacco product


Accra, May 31, GNA - Members of Parliament on Wednesday called for stricter control over tobacco use in the country to cut down on the socio-economic loss associated with the product.

They touched on the effects of tobacco use on the lives of the youth, the upsurge of diseases associated with the product and the impact on the entire society if tobacco use were not regulated. The Members were contributing to separate statements on tobacco use made by Mr Kofi Frimpong, (NPP-Kwabre East) and Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah (NDC-Ho East) to mark 93World No-Tobacco Day=94. Mr Frimpong, in his statement, said tobacco and its products were the second major cause of death in the world.

He said a WHO report estimated that the use of tobacco had resulted in an annual global net loss of 200,000 million dollars, and a third of this loss was found in developing countries.

He appealed to his colleagues to give their support to a bill on tobacco, which was expected to come before the House. Mrs Azumah-Mensah said despite efforts by countries to set in place some measures to check smoking, tobacco companies continued to remind the world of the product's economic benefits.

In another statement, Mr Willaim Ofori Boafo, Deputy Minister of Defence, touched on Ghana's role in international peacekeeping in commemoration of International Day of UN Peacekeepers, which fell on May 29.

He said Ghana was at present the fifth contributor of military personnel to the UN peacekeeping missions.

He said Ghana would continue to contribute troops to peacekeeping missions and announced that the Ghana Armed Forces had been invited to contribute troops for operations in the Darfur Region of Sudan. "With our vast experience in peacekeeping, we ought to react fast to invitations from the UN, Africa Union and ECOWAS to insert troops into conflict areas," he said.