Togo is considering a bill to ban smoking in public. The Ministry of Health of the West African country said tobacco related deaths in the country has reached alarming proportions and it is about time it saves its citizens. Smoking prevalence in the tiny country is 31.3% and civil society organizations are helping to save the situation.
A representative of the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Sadjo-Hetsi Dzrevon said: “Tobacco has killed a lot of people in Togo that is why the ministry of health is concerned and working with NGOs to stop this dangerous trend”.
The National Alliance of Consumers and Environment of Togo said in a document: “Tobacco consumption is spreading more and more, especially among the youth. The tobacco industry is increasingly directing its harmful advertising toward young people by sponsoring youth oriented cultural activities. Even though the state has banned tobacco advertising in public and private media, the advertising still exists in many forms in Togo.”
At the moment there is an ongoing legislative process on tobacco control which is expected to culminate into a national legal document that will support the promotion and implementation of the framework convention on tobacco control.
“If these documents are adopted by the legislators it will strengthen existing structures on the ground and also provide a more reliable data on tobacco control in the country.
“Before now we have no consistent data on Tobacco control, with this situational analysis document, we now have a document that we can rely on, we now have a guide that will help us to work on policies. The document is very important for stakeholders working on tobacco control issues in Togo,” Dr. told AfricaNews reporter in Lome.He said: “At the ministry of health we are happy that there is now a reference document that will guide legislation and necessary action on tobacco control.”