VALD Holds Capacity Building Workshop for PRINPAG on Tobacco Control and Taxation

The Vision for Alternative Development, (VALD-Ghana) has held a day’s capacity building training workshop for members of the Private Newspapers and Online Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) on Tobacco control and Tobacco Taxation in Ghana.

The workshop which was in partnership with the media fraternity is aimed at bringing the members of the inky fraternity up to speed on new developments in Tobacco regulation and control in the country which calls for attention and to also seek their support for the campaign against the use and abuse of tobacco related products.

In his opening remarks, the Executive Director of Programmes for VALD, Mr. Labram Musah indicated that since Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world and also the leading preventable cause of non-communicable diseases in Ghana, it is a huge threat to the country’s health system and economy, especially the youth who are supposed to be the future of the country.

He mentioned that a recent report has stated that 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking in their teens and have now become chainsmokers. Setting the premise that an estimated 5.6 million youth of today under the age of 18 will eventually die prematurely from tobacco related diseases.

“In Ghana, it is estimated that tobacco kills 6,700 Ghanaians annually because of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke and of course, accounting for 3% of all deaths in Ghana… Additionally, other studies are concerned about the rapid emerging tobacco products which will eventually worsen the increased burden of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, lung diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, etc.…”, he stressed.

Mr. Labram therefore courted the partnership of the media in the fight against the threat of tobacco hence the capacity building workshop for the members of the Private Newspaper and Online Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) on Tobacco Control and Tobacco Taxation.

He further explained that the Tobacco Taxation has proven to be an effective way of controlling tobacco use and therefore calls on the stakeholders involved to ensure that Tobacco taxation is effectively implemented in the advancement of public health.

The Executive Secretary of PRINPAG, Mr. (Kenteman) Nii Laryea Sowa expressed concern about the lack of consistency on campaign on projects such as Tobacco control in order to gain the traction that is required for the needed change in the status quo. This, he indicated, goes to defeat the purpose for the otherwise, very laudable campaigns. While he appealed to the government to support the campaign on the effective implementation of the Tobacco Taxation by VALD, he pledged the support of PRINPAG to the course.

The Deputy Minister for Information, Fatimatu Abubakar who gave the keynote address at the workshop, emphasized the need for strong regulatory measures to tackle the menace of health issues caused by tobacco use.

She expressed concern about the increasing use of Shisha in the country and the extremely low cost of cigarettes in the country and therefore supports the call for increased taxes measures on tobacco and tobacco related products in the country in order to reduce its consumption by the population.

She appealed to the media to give their full support to the campaign to discourage tobacco use and to protect the youth of Ghana from the use tobacco and other harmful drugs which would jeopardize their future development.

Source: Clement Akoloh||

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