31 May 2017

Tanzania: New Tobacco Control Act On the Offing

Dar es Salaam — The government plans reppel the Tobacco Products (regulation) Act of 2013 to come up with in a bid to curb tobacco related diseases in the country.

The new act is expected to repeal the Tobacco Products (Regulation) Act, 2003 which is currently regulating public smoking; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and tobacco packaging and labeling.Addressing the audience during World No Tobacco Day themed "Tobacco- a threat to development" on Wednesday, a Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) specialist from the ministry Dr Sarah Maongezi who represented health Minister Ms Ummy Mwalimu, assured that government was in good plans to curb tobacco related diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes.

"We have initiated a joint working scheme with other relevant ministries like ministry of constitution and Legal Affairs, ministry of industry, ministry of finance and various Civil Social Organizations (CSOs) etc to make sure that we achieve fighting tobacco related diseases in the country," she said.

Again the Ministry has pledged to officiate the ban on public advertisement of tobacco products in the billboards,Television and radio in a bid to reduce the products demand.

In her part, WHO representative Dr Neema Kileo who represented regional director for the WHO Regional Office for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said tobacco control was a cost-effective solution to the challenges, urging the government to formulate and implement advocacy policies and Act in combating tobacco related diseases.

"I call upon member states to include tobacco control in their national policies, plans and SDG implementation frameworks. Again countries should raise tobacco taxes to reduce demand for tobacco," she noted.

This follows reports availed by World Health Organization (WHO) indicating that tobacco kills more than 7.2 million people per year, with over 80 per cent from low or middle-income countries including Tanzania.

In Africa about 146, 000 adults aged 30 years and above die every year from tobacco related diseases, according to reports by WHO.

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