Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pass Tobacco Bill – Ali

Pass Tobacco Bill – Ali
Ghana News Agency (GNA)
18 May 2009

Accra, May 18, GNA - Mr. Issah Ali, Executive Director of the Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), a development-oriented, non-governmental organization (NGO), has urged government to ensure the passage of the Tobacco Control Bill (TCB) without delay. This, he said, could go a long way to clamp down on illicit trade on tobacco products to help reduce smoking-related diseases among Ghanaians.

Mr. Ali who disclosed these to GNA in Accra at the weekend, suggested that the draft be put before Parliament without any further delay.

The Executive Director, who is also a Board Member of the African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA), said the Organization had sensitized stakeholders on the tobacco industry, and supported the strengthening of the coalition of NGOs on health.

On the international scene, Mr. Ali said VALD had advocated for a strong guideline on the packaging and labeling of tobacco products for easy identification of the harm tobacco causes to health. He lamented that the NGO lacked funding and said that it was planning to set up a network of journalists to sensitize the public on the dangers of tobacco products.

Mr Ali said a forum would soon be held for religious organizations, apart from a national stakeholders' consultative and strategic meeting, to address tobacco-related problems facing the country. He said that the NGO would work hard to ensure that tobacco control was on the national agenda to help solicit funds from the donor community.