Western Africa people more and more addicted to smoking cigarettes. : ThyBlackMan

Monday, June 25, 2018


Western Africa people more and more addicted to smoking cigarettes.

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(ThyBlackMan.comThe cigarettes consumption in western Africa has increased at 52 per cent between 1980 to 2016. This statement is claimed by The American Cancer Society and Vital Strategies in their report called “Tobago Atlas 6th edition”, published in March 2018. They are warning that in the next decades, the Africa continent is about to become one of the most affected continents by the diseases due to the smoking of cigarettes. The reasons of this health crisis as the report declares are the population growth rate, the empowerment of revenues, the cheap price of cigarettes and the aggressive marketing policy of the Tobago industry in this part of the continent. 93% of the western African countries don’t develop a control of cigarettes consumption in respect to international recommendations. In 2016, 300,000 people died from smoking cigarettes diseases.

In Congo, the rate of consumers aged more than 15 increased by 15 % to 43 in Democratic Republic of Congo. In Mauritania, it increased by 27% to 43 between 2003 and 2015 in both cases. The taxes to be more expensive for the Tobago trade companies is seen as one of the solution. The Ecowas (Economic Community of West Africa States) is leading discussion in that sense to make more profits for the states and produce effects to reduce the consumption of cigarettes. But, as reported, one crucial risk for the states to try to control this trade is to be attacked by the companies concerned with justice procedures, trials, and lawsuits.

The powerful financial resources of the Tobago traders still try to influence at so many levels the administrative system decision in each country to protect their businesses. “Legal battles are being fought at all levels, from domestic courts to international arbitration, where the vast legal resources of major tobacco companies are frequently used against the often limited legal resources of low and medium HDI countries,” the report notes.

In Senegal, in 2017, the government started a campaign to sensitize people. One Agence France Presse (French Press Agency) journalist has noticed a change. The new cigarettes packages on the market do put clearly in evidence the dangers of cigarettes smoking by showing clearly alarming smokers diseases images. On these new packages in Senegal, one can read messages like “smoking kills slowly and painfully”, “Smoking makes you sexually impotent and sterile”. The local small shop of sellers of these packages explain that these images have effect to discourage the smokers. When they come to buy and see the diseases picture, they run away, they fear. Just few African countries are getting involved in struggle against Tobago danger. According to the World Health Organization, the “good pupils” are located in southern Africa. In South Africa, it is not a game party at all. Policemen don’t hesitate to arrest those who disobey the ban on smoking in public spaces so the law is generally respected there.

In Niger which was the first country to vote exemplary laws to control cigarettes smoking is not an example today. Sanoussa Saouna, president of the Nigerian association SOS Smoking complains “There is no way to impose the new regulations. The public authorities have not included the fight against smoking as one of their priorities”. In Morocco, the advertisement for tobago products and smoke in public spaces is forbidden but in reality the law is not respected. 31% of men smoke and 15% of young men smoke tobago too in diverse forms naguilé, chicha which are also very popular in Tunisian and Algeria. Young women feel high attraction to the smoking by shisha. “But a shisha is the equivalent of 40 cigarettes,” says Professor Hichem Aouina, a pulmonologist, member of the Tunisian National Commission for Tobacco Control. “In Tunisia, the first cigarette is smoked at age 13, 10% of boys at this age”, wonders Professor Aouina.

Tunisia has declared 2009 “national year of fight against smoking”: the price of cigarettes has increased and the ban on smoking in public places, promulgated more than ten years ago, is finally applied. Most African states have adhered to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, but don’t apply it. Some governments show some actions. Nigeria ($ 418,000 a year), Ghana ($ 257,000), South Africa ($ 221,000) and Chad ($ 100,000) are the largest donors, according to a study. The Tobago industry remains a chain for the African continent indeed.

Source: http://www.tobaccoatlas.org and http://www.vitalstrategies.org

Staff Writer; Abu-Jahlil Astrid Chacha

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