Officials of the Ministry of Public Health presented a new tobacco packaging policy in Yaounde on 7th June 2018.This follows a joint ministerial order of 3rd January 2018 that defines new packaging and labeling modalities for tobacco products in Cameroon.The new policy goes into effect from 3rd January 2019.
The negative effects of tobacco use to the human system and economy are far reaching. The new policy on tobacco packaging comes as a disuasive measure to consumers of the harmful product.
On 4th May 2006, Cameroon became a party to the WHO framework convention on tobacco control.This framework served as a basis for the joint order signed by both parties in January 2018.
Accordingly, all packaging shall carry warnings illustrated by images and specific health warnings on the effects of tobacco use.Such warnings will cover at least 60% of the external rare unit of the product.
Side Effects of Tobacco Consumption
Medical experts say tobacco smoke contains some fifty chemicals that cause Lungs, mouth, pancreas, throat and other forms of cancers.According to statistics from the Tobacco Atlas, Cameroon losses some 28million to smoking yearly.Children as young as eight in Cameroon begin smoking, eventually drop out of school and become a threat to social peace and stability. The government and WHO are seeking measures of curbing the growing use of tobacco especially among youths.
Consequently, all dealers in tobacco products in Cameroon are expected to comply with the new policy that seeks to address this societal problem or face the law.
Kathy Neba Sina