Tanzania: Larger Health Warning On Cigarette Packs In The Offing

Cigarette manufacturers will be required to implement rules on printing larger health warnings on cigarette and other tobacco packs effective September this year in line with the Tobacco Products Regulations 2014.

The Tobacco Products Regulations 2014 are in fulfillment of Tanzania’s obligations under the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) aimed at reducing smoking incidences globally. Tanzania is a signatory to the FCTC.

The Minister for Health, Social Welfare, Gender, Seniors and Children, Ummy Mwalimu, said the government would enforce the regulation come September to comply with the global convention country’s laws and regulations aimed at ensuring smokers have adequate knowledge on health risks from smoking.

Speaking at an event to mark World Tobacco Day in Morogoro on Tuesday, the minister admitted some weaknesses in enforcement of tobacco regulations in the country, and cautioned violators against breaking the law.

Large health warning requirement followed restrictions on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship effective March, 2015. The Health minister said the government has noted some violations by some players in the market and has vowed to take stern measures against them.

Our survey indicate there are violations of the tobacco regulations which include use of tobacco branded promotional materials with no health warnings, placement of ashtrays in non-smoking areas and promotional activities in prohibited public areas including the use of branded vehicles.

The survey shows some cigarette manufacturers, such as the Tanzania Cigarette Company Ltd, have started rolling out cigarette packs with larger health warnings ahead of the September 2016 deadline.

The manufacture, sale and distribution of tobacco products in the country are regulated through; The Tobacco Products (Regulations) Act no. 2 of 2003 (Principal Legislation) and Tobacco Product Regulations, GN number 478 of 201

Source: allafrica.com

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