Sunday, March 3, 2024

Activists Rally for Enactment of the Tobacco Control Bill

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A fervent gathering of young advocates, seen as primary targets for the tobacco industry, has united in a public plea for the swift enactment of the Tobacco Control Bill. The push for legislative action is aimed directly at lawmakers, particularly the Ministries of Health and Justice.

Amid persistent efforts, including months of written appeals to the relevant ministries, this collective demonstration, arranged by the Centre for Trade Policy and Development in collaboration with the Young Professional’s Network, serves as a human billboard protest, emphasizing the urgency of passing the long-delayed Tobacco Control Bill, which has been stagnating for over 15 years.

Disappointment and frustration are palpable among tobacco control advocates due to the prolonged delays in passing the bill, even after its principle approval by the Cabinet for introduction in Parliament.

Of particular concern is the observed surge in tobacco product advertising, importation, and sales, including items such as e-cigarettes and vaping devices. Activists argue that this delay in enacting the Tobacco Control Bill has indirectly benefited the tobacco industry.

The situation, as highlighted by these advocates, indicates Zambia’s failure to adhere to the guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This global directive calls for the enactment of the Tobacco Control Bill and the prohibition of tobacco-related advertising and sponsorships, which encompass corporate social responsibility initiatives.

The staggering toll of approximately 7,000 annual deaths attributed to tobacco-related illnesses remains a significant burden on the country’s productive sectors. Advocates stress the urgent need to safeguard both present and future generations from the detrimental effects of tobacco products, particularly as Zambia is seen as a primary target due to the lack of robust tobacco control policies.

Demanding transparency and a clear plan of action, these advocates call for a roadmap from the Ministry of Health and Justice outlining when the bill will be finalized and presented in parliament.

Press Release Issued by Mwaka Nyimbili (Ms) – CTPD Communications Specialist

7 COMMENTS

  1. Governments encourage the growing of tobacco because it is a top cash crop. You grow it and then say that you should not use it.

  2. just ban tobacco and alcohol. Yes they generate lots of money for the countries. Then allow prostitution as well. If supported and managed well prostitution can empoly a lot of our young girls and generate forex for the country, Just this the way you think about tobaco and alcohol

  3. Tobacco is not the major problem
    There are hard drugs coming in from all over and customs are not even aware of
    That is our major problem

  4. All Mighty Father, thank You for this day.I thank You for the GIFT of life and family. I ask that You would guide my path through and through, more specifically, my thoughts, words and actions. Please be with me throughout the day and help me navigate whatever comes my way. Most importantly, help me to reflect and live out my life in a way that is honoring to You.

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  5. These tobacco companies have balance sheets that are multiple times bigger than Zambia’s economy. So getting our $$$ hungry politicians to go against them is a tough ask…but it can be done if our politicians stop thinking about their pockets first and start caring for the nations health. It would be good if CTPD could put an actual figure of how much tobacco related illnesses and deaths cost the economy, maybe then people would take them more seriously.

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