30 November 2012

Liberia: Enforce Regulation Against Public Smoking


Since The Act to prohibit the use of tobacco and tobacco products in public places and the sale and use of tobacco products by persons under the age of 18 years was enacted into law on September 11, 2008 and printed into handbill on September 23, 2008, not much has been heard about its enforcement.

The Purpose Of the regulation is to reduce the demand for tobacco and tobacco products in Liberia in accordance with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Act defines public places as educational institutions, medical services institutions, and public transportation, among others.

In Recent Days, there have been mounting concerns about the enforcement on public smoking. Some of the citizens who spoke to this paper in random interviews conducted last week said the regulation on public smoking is very weak. They claimed that not much is done to deal with violators of public smoking.

They Said The regulation is just on the book but the relevant institutions responsible for its enforcement are not doing their job. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and Liberia National Police are the collaborating entities responsible to ensure that the regulation is enforced.

For Us We see the public smoking regulation as a document that is not just weak, but an addition to laws that are overlooked when it comes to enforcement. There are individuals, including the mentally imbalanced, smoking in public places in the presence of law enforcers, but nothing is done to them.

We Realize That the regulation against public smoking is being used as a political gimmick which needs to be enforced.

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