The Ministry of Health has launched its National Tobacco Control Strategy (NTCS), marking a significant step towards creating a healthier, tobacco-free nation under the Food and Drugs Authority.
The NTCS is a comprehensive strategy that would serve as a pivotal document, aligning the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the Public Health Act 2012 (Act 851), the Tobacco Control Regulations 2016 (L.I 2247), and other relevant laws, showcasing Ghana’s commitment to global tobacco control efforts.
The Strategy outlines a systematic approach to accelerate tobacco control in Ghana, with a primary focus on protecting the present and future generations from the severe health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco use and exposure.
By prioritizing youth and low-income communities, the strategy aims to enhance community engagement and policy implementation on tobacco control.
At its core, the NTCS serves as a guide for effective collaboration among agencies involved in tobacco control.
It sets clear goals and adopts strategic timelines, providing a structured framework for implementing impactful measures.
The launch of the NTCS is an important occasion, symbolizing the nation’s dedication to combating the detrimental effects of tobacco on both public health and the economy.
This extensive collaboration and commitment from various institutions, experts, and civil society members is a testament to the collective efforts invested in its creation and ensures that the strategy is robust, well-informed, and capable of addressing the dynamic challenges posed by tobacco use.
The Food and Drugs Authority also held a 2-day training on the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
The training serves as a proactive measure to regulate the illegal trade of tobacco products, especially considering Ghana’s participation in the Illicit Trade Protocol, and does not only include strategies to counter illicit trade but also establishes a framework to enhance law enforcement and provides the legal foundation for international collaboration.
Dr Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng, Director, of the Tobacco and Substances of Abuse Directorate, speaking at the event said “The tobacco menace continues to pose a significant challenge globally.”
She was however quick to add that “the issue is further worsened by the illicit trade in tobacco products, which not only makes tobacco more accessible at cheaper prices but also undermines the progress we have made so far as a country through tobacco control policies.”
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