Zambia has made a commitment to eliminate the illicit trade of tobacco in the country, in line with the World Health Organisation Convention on tobacco Control.
The Zambian government has made an assurance to the 8th Session of the Conference of Parties for the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, in Geneva, that it will comply with the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products as soon as possible.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Jabbin Mulwanda said in a speech read on his behalf by National Focal Point Person for Tobacco Control John Mayeya, that Zambia commends the WHO convention secretariat for facilitating the coming into force of the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco.
Dr. Mulwanda told the conference that Zambia has developed the Tobacco and Nicotine Product Control Bill of 2018, which he said is still undergoing stakeholders consultation.
He added that the enactment of the Tobacco and Nicotine Product Bill will lead to the domestication of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Zambia’s prevalence rates for both male and female youths in respect of tobacco smoking, currently stands at 25 percent and the Ministry of Health has projected that the figures are likely to rise in the coming years.
The Permanent Secretary assured the conference that Zambia is committed to addressing the challenge of youth tobacco consumption through the implementation of the obligations espoused and outlined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Tobacco products contribute to approximately 7 percent of Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is heavily dependent on minerals.
The Zambian Delegation from the Ministries of Agriculture and Labour and Social Security are in Geneva, Switzerland to attend the 8th Session of the Conference of Parties for the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.