#Ethiopia moves to ban public smoking, alcohol adverts

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The Ethiopian parliament has passed a draft bill that restricts smoking in public places and also bans a category of alcohol advertisement especially in broadcast media.

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The Food and Drug’s Proclamation addresses thematic public health issues as Food Safety Administration, Tobacco Products Regulation, Alcohol Control and Medicine and Medical Device Administration.

Major highlights from the restrictions on smoking and alcohol usage included:text Ban on smoking in all indoor workplaces, public places and means of public transport. Tobacco packaging must contain clearly visible health warnings to smokers.

Drinks with less than 10% alcohol content cannot be advertised via broadcast media. Billboards shall also be affected same. Where applicable, the advert shall contain a warning – in print or sound. The legal age for which a person can purchase alcohol shall be 21.

Details of the Draft Proclamation as shared by Health Minister, Amir Aman Countries in the East Africa region have in recent years upped the fight against smoking especially of water-pipe tobacco popularly referred to as shisha.

Kenya in 2017 joined Rwanda in issuing total shisha bans pursuant to a World Health Organization advisory note.

The first East African country to ban shisha was Tanzania in 2016. According to the World Health Organization, WHO; the smoke inhaled in a typical one hour shisha smoking session is equal to inhaling smoke from as many as 100 sticks of cigarette.

Traditionally shisha tobacco contains cigarette tobacco, so like cigarettes it contains nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead. As a result, shisha smokers are at risk of the same kinds of diseases as cigarette smokers, such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and problems during pregnancy.

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