Over 30 parliamentarians currently participating at the budget session in the National Assembly have resolved to persuade their peers to adopt a new anti-tobacco draft law when government tables it. Speaking during a dinner-debate that was organised by the Cameroon Coalition Against Tobacco (C3T) on Thursday, November 29 in Yaounde, Honourable Vincent de Paul Emah Etoundi said Members of Parliament had the duty to educate the public and bar the way to tobacco which is causes weakening of the country's human resources.
In an earlier presentation, the President of C3T, Dr. Flore Ndembiyembe said tobacco has negative effects on health and causes cancer, cardiovascular diseases and has had negative effects on the economy. "To protect our population, it is important to have a regulatory framework which takes into consideration decisions contained in the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) ratified by Cameroon in 2006," she explained. Resource person, Armstrong Tih said principal provisions of the WHO FCTC that inspired the draft law emphasised on the reduction of demand, ban on advertising and promotion, packaging, non-smoking areas and increase of prices and taxes. Other areas include control of illicit sale and ban of sale to children.
Projections released during the debate indicated that in 2030, tobacco will be the principal cause of death. Some 10 million people will die annually from tobacco with 70 to 80 per cent of these deaths occurring in developing countries like Cameroon.
On his part, the Director of the Promotion of Health in the Ministry of Public Health, Dr Sa'a urged the parliamentarians to be ambassadors of the fight against tobacco.