The World Health Organisation (WHO) has appealed to Ghana Government to implement the organisation�s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), and ensure that the public was fully aware of the negative health consequences of smoking and second-hand smoking.
The WHO said: �In formulating and implementing public policies, decision makers should ensure that these policies are protected from the vested interests of the tobacco industry�.
Reading a WHO message on behalf of Dr Luis G. Sambo , WHO Regional Director, Dr Fleischer Djoleto of WHO Ghana Office, explained that Article 5.3 of the FCTC obliged parties to the Convention to protect their tobacco control policies from tobacco industry interference .
The call was made at a press briefing in Accra on Wednesday to mark this year�s World No Tobacco Day, which fell on May 31st, 2012.
The event on the theme: �Tobacco Industry Interference� focused on the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry�s increasingly attempts to undermine the WHO FCTC, which sought to protect the public from the serious dangers of tobacco.
Dr Sambo noted that the public, private sector and the civil society had roles to play in designing and implementing intersectoral programmes as well as strategies for tobacco control.
�Let us strengthen our efforts to protect the health of the people by raising awareness about the negative effects of tobacco use and the interference from the tobacco industry�.
Dr Kyei Faried Deputy Director and Head of Disease Control of the Ghana Health Service, who made a presentation on theme, said tobacco industry interference were efforts to derail strong tobacco control policies, maneuvering to hijack the political and legislative process of countries; manipulating public opinion to gain the appearance of respectability, discrediting proven science and intimidating governments with litigation or the threat of limitation.
He said Ghana would intensify the fight against tobacco industry interference, to control the global tobacco epidemic.
Mr Issah Ali, Chief Executive Officer of VALD, representing Coalition of non-governmental organisations in Tobacco Control, called on Parliament to expedite action on the tobacco bill to save the lives of Ghanaians.
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