The Government has laid before Parliament a Legislative Instrument (LI) aimed at regulating activities of tobacco use in Ghana.
The Instrument, would among others, allow for the full implementation of Chapter Six of the Public Health Act (Act 851), which deals with tobacco use in the country.
The Chapter provides for the control of tobacco use in the country, which among others, bans smoking in public places, the sale of cigarettes to children and tobacco advertising.
It is in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
Despite the draft LI being with the Ministry of Health since July 2015, several attempts in the past by stakeholders urging for action have cut no ice.
Health Minister Alex Segbefia justified the delay in forwarding the document to Parliament, explaining that the Legal Department of the Ministry was working on several health-related documents for the consideration of Parliament and the LI on tobacco control was key among them.
He said the strategy was to send all such documents en-masse rather than sending them in bits, hence the delay.
Following the passage of the Public Health Bill into law in 2012, smoking in public places was declared unlawful.
Also, the sale of tobacco to minors was declared illegal as well as a ban on open publicity and sponsorship of public events.
Ghana’s Public Health Act (Act 851) was passed by Parliament and assented to by the President in 2012.