Socialize

Tobacco Control in Sierra Leone: My Take

Janaury 29, 2016 By Augusta Koroma

Tobacco advertising and promotion is rampant in Sierra Leone. It is seen displayed on the streets, at points of tobacco sales, in newspapers and through brand bearing objects such as umbrellas, shopping bags and clothing.

It is generally appreciated by the communities in the form of sponsorship of major activities or event without knowing the ulterior motive behind the sponsorship. Handling tobacco products by minors is a common practice everywhere in the country.

As the government of Sierra Leone, through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, is about to process the National Tobacco Control Act (NTCA), which is to be implemented on the basis of the National Tobacco Control Strategy, among other documents, it is obvious that the law will be a milestone towards protecting present and future generations from the devastating health, social, economic and environmental consequences of tobacco consumption.

Tobacco consumers are dying slowly because they cannot afford the cost of treatment, and that is imposing an economic burden on individuals and society as a whole.

Tobacco use can aggravates poverty at household level and its production can cause irreversible damage to the environment. To prevent all these risks, there should be more commitment by the government of Sierra Leone and Ministry of Health and Sanitation to enforce the law on tobacco consumption and importation in the country.

In bringing down the curtain, credit to the National Tobacco Control Strategy 2012-2016.