Government to establish a fund to control tobacco products

13 Mar 2014 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 13 MAR (NAMPA) - Government is set to establish a fund to control tobacco products in Namibia, according to the Tobacco Products’ Control Act of 2010.
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Richard Kamwi launched the Tobacco Products’ Control Regulations during a stakeholders’ meeting in the capital on Thursday.
Government has introduced a ban on smoking in public places, effective from 01 July this year.
According to the Tobacco Products’ Control Act, the finances of the Tobacco Products’ Control Fund will consist of monies appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of the fund, as well as donations or contributions made to the fund for the purpose of the achievement of its objective.
“The fund will provide funding for the formulation and implementation of projects and programmes in order to control the smoking of tobacco products; and technical assistance, guidance and training in the identification, planning, preparation, appraisal, monitoring, evaluation, financing, implementation or management of projects and programmes,” it states.
Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with the ban commits an offence, and is liable upon conviction to fines ranging from N.dollars 500 up to N.dollars 200 000, imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or both.
The fund may be utilised for the management and control of tobacco-related issues; for defraying expenses incurred in administering the fund, or by members of the committee or sub-committees of the committee; contribute to the treatment of tobacco-related illnesses and diseases; as well as conduct training on tobacco-related programmes.
Meanwhile, the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) has welcomed the banning of smoking in public places.
Speaking to Nampa on the sidelines today, CAN Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Reinette Koegelenberg said the time has come for Namibians to quit smoking.
Koegelenberg is also a member of the Tobacco Control Committee.
“This is the beginning of greater things for Namibians. Aside from lung cancer, many other cancers are associated with smoking. Second-hand smoke can cause serious health problems in children,” she stated.
Countries which are making strong progress in banning the last remaining forms of tobacco advertising include Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Iran, Mauritius, Panama and Vietnam, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The WHO says only 19 countries (representing just six per cent of the world’s population) have reached the highest level of achievement in banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
More than one-third of countries all over the world have minimal or no restrictions at all.