The Foods and Drugs Authority (FDA)in collaboration with key stakeholders in Eastern Region is implementing a road map for enforcing tobacco control regulations to safeguard public health and safety.
The Ghana Health Service, Ghana Police Service, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, National Security, Traditional Authorities, Trader Associations, National Investigation Bureau, media, and municipal assemblies among others are collaborating to regulate the sale and consumption of tobacco products in the country.
Mr Samuel Kwakye, the Head of FDA in the Eastern Region, said traders and distributors were to be involved in spreading the messages on the consequences of consuming tobacco products.
He said a road map for a task force to implement the Tobacco Control Regulations had been launched in various regions to start the campaign.
Mr Kwakye told the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the engagement that FDA would work closely with the Ghana Education Service to educate students from the basic level through the second cycle to the tertiary on the effects of tobacco products.
Ms Mavis Danso, Senior Regulatory Officer, FDA, said the statutory requirement for tobacco products demanded specifications including pictorial warnings and country-specific destinations to control illicit trading of tobacco.
She said the FDA was collaborating with other agencies such as GES, Ghana Tourism Authority to ensure compliance and expressed worry about emerging trends of tobacco use in the country.
“We don’t even see how into the puffs. It is usually concealed in personal effects, most of these are shisha,” he added, expressing the hope that the draft enforcement plan would help control tobacco consumption.
The campaign seeks to achieve the objective of reducing the prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke to the barest minimum.
Tobacco leaves that are dried and fermented before being put in tobacco products. It contains nicotine, an ingredient that can lead to addiction.
The regulations governing FDA operations bar a person from manufacturing, importing, or selling tobacco or tobacco products unless the products are registered by the Authority.
A person shall not manufacture, import, supply, possess, or offer for sale tobacco products.
Again, a person involved in the production of a media entertainment product shall ensure that identifiable tobacco brands or tobacco images are not depicted in association with, or as part of the content of any entertainment media product.