Activists in the fight against tobacco in Cameroon have said a strong anti-tobacco law will greatly reduce illicit trade in tobacco products and lessen smoking in the country.
The activists under the banner of the Cameroon Coalition for Tobacco Control, CCCT, held a meeting in Douala to carve out ways of spearheading the campaign for stricter local legislation on tobacco.
During the meeting, it was revealed that there were 173 tobacco sales points near schools and 44 posters advertising cigarettes were posted of the walls of school buildings which are in violation of the law prohibiting the advertisement of cigarettes or selling cigarettes to youths.
To them, the absence of an anti-tobacco law and the low cost of cigarette prices greatly weakens the fight against illicit tobacco trade in the country.
“A stick of cigarette costs just FCFA 15, a price which is affordable to any young person,” she stated. Elaborating on this year’s theme, “Stop illicit trade in tobacco products,”. The World Health Organisation estimates seven million tobacco related deaths each year in the world.
According to official statistics, Cameroon has more than one million active adult smokers. Going by the report, 66,000 Cameroonians die of the effects of tobacco every year.
The Douala meeting, was therefore an opportunity for the activists to seek ways in pressuring the government, fight effectively against the illicit trade in tobacco in view of reducing the dangers of tobacco consumption in Cameroon.