Former Minister of Health Boniface Kawimbe has reminded members of the general public to adhere to the smoking ban, by not smoking in public places.
Dr Kawimbe says people who smoke must take responsibility by smoking only in designated places as opposed to smoking in public places, causing danger to other citizens.
Dr Kawimbe, a private medical practitioner and proprietor of Midlands Medical Centre told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka yesterday, that he has observed with concern that some members of the public have continued to smoke in public, which is a risk to other public users.
“Passive smoking is very bad because it affects other people, such as children, non-smokers as well as those with chest problems,” Dr. Kawimbe said.
The Former Minister of Health said prohibiting smoking in public places should be given special attention due to its hazardous nature to non-smokers, who are forced to be passive smokers.
He has since urged government to strengthen and re-enforce the smoking ban in Zambia.
Dr Kawimbe further urged members of the public to abide by the law and enforce it by reporting any person to the police who will be found smoking in public.
He observed that following the continued smoking in public places by persons that have no regard for the comfort of others, children and women including non-smoking adults are at high risk of contracting diseases.
He implored councils and business houses country-wide to designate and stick posters were people are allowed to smoke.
In May 2008, Government banned smoking in public and in September the same year, it passed a Statutory Instrument Number 39 of Local Government by prohibiting smoking of tobacco in public places and another Statutory Instrument Number 63 under the Ministry of Health regulations of 1992 on tobacco control.
The law stipulates that any person found contravening the regulation will be liable, upon conviction, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
And according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than eight million people in the world through direct tobacco use, while an estimated 1.2 million people non-smokers inhale and are exposed to second-hand smoke