The Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has advised the British American Tobacco company to respect government’s smoke ban.
ZACA Executive Secretary Muyunda Illilonga said it was sad that the cigarette company was using its youth smoking prevention campaign Launch to mislead government’s smoke ban.
Mr Illilonga said the youth smoking prevention campaign was nothing but a smoke screen by a canning multi-national company bent on watering down tobacco control legislation and interfering with public health policy by hiding behind youths.
He wondered why the company invited Local government and Housing minister Sylvia
Masebo to launch the campaign.
” This was because she passed one of the most dramatic policy decisions that the government has ever made in terms of tobacco control, ” he said.
Mr Illilonga urged the government officials to recognise the tobacco industry’s fundamental conflict of interest with health policy, and ensure that public interest was prioritised in policy development and therefore health must therefore come before profits.
In a press release to ZANIS in kitwe Friday, Mr Illilonga said since Zambia was now a signatory to the framework convention on tobacco control, the country has obligations to fulfil under this treaty .
The executive secretary said government should be reminded of its obligations to provide alternative credible programmes to prevent the deadly epidermis caused by tobacco smoke.
He added that the elimination of smoke from public places was the only science based measure that adequately protects the populations health from dangerous effects of second hand smoke.