GOVERNMENT MUST DEFEND TOBACCO CONVENTION
October 1, 2008
By: Erica A. Addo
An NGO – Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), which aims at enhancing education on Tobacco control and health issues together, has called on Government to protect the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) from Tobacco industry's interference.
This call is one of the many actions taking worldwide to challenge interference by Tobacco giants in the implementation of the global tobacco treaty, which is officially known as the world health Organization Framework Convection on Tobacco Control. (WHO FCTC)
This was contained in a press release signed by Mr. Musah Labram, Programmers Director of VALD.
He noted that tobacco industries interference poses the single greatest threat tobacco control adding that here in Ghana; the British American Tobacco Ghana (BAT) was aggressively promoting its deadly products, while trying to subvert strong public health policies
"We aim to advance the implementation of the global tobacco treaty and reinforce the courageous work of Ghana Health Service and Food and Drug Board who stood up against the tobacco giant".
Mr. Labram pointed out that tobacco kills 5.4 million people around the world each year, including Ghana.
The death toll is projected to rise to eight million a year by 2030, with 80 percent of those deaths occurring in the development counties. He added
He also lamented that Ghana is one of the 160 countries who have ratified the global tobacco treaty, which now protects nearly 85% of the world's peoples.
He added that WHO estimates that broad implementation of that could save 200 million lives by the year 2050.
Mr. Issah Ali, a tobacco control advocate also added that time has come for Ghana to pass the Draft Tobacco control Bill into Law.
He emphasized that specific guidelines on how article 5.3 should be implemented will be up for approval when ratifying countries gather for the 3rd enforcement meeting on the treaty this November in Durban, South Africa.
Proposals in the draft guidelines includes keeping the tobacco industry out of tobacco control bodies such as FCTC delegation, prohibiting government partnership or collaboration with tobacco industry and requiring that the tobacco industry will be transparent about its activities as well as operations.