According to the scientists, while many countries have ratified the World Health Organisation's Framework ok Tobacco Control that is supposed to reduce the use of tobacco products in the world, research shows that smoking is set to increase on the African continent by more than 10 percent.
Activists involved in Tobacco Control are calling upon African
governments to fund scientific research aimed at eliminating the use of tobacco-related
The call was made on Tuesday during the first Africa Conference on
Tobacco Control and Development.
According to the scientists, while many countries have ratified the World
Health Organisation's Framework Tobacco Control that is supposed to reduce
the use of tobacco products in the world, research shows that smoking is set to
increase on the African continent by more than 10 percent.
The 2018 World Health Organisation- WHO Global Report on Trends in
Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking 2020-2025 indicates that by 2025 the number of
adult males and females on average smoking nationwide will stand at 6.75
percent from 5.55 percent in 2020.
To stop this from happening, activists are proposing a shift. Instead of
relying on high taxation policies on tobacco products, labelling, glaring
graphics showing the effects of smoking and national laws activists want to use
The research according to the activists is supposed to guide the development
of policies tailor-made for Africa that will lead address the burden of NCDs caused
by the use of tobacco.
Prof William Bazeyo, the Director of the Center for Tobacco Control
in Africa (CTCA) and the chairman of the conference say due to the rising
burden of diseases associated with the use of tobacco, a multi-sectorial
approach guided by research is needed.
“Alarming statistics indicate that we are not winning the war
against preventable diseases due to tobacco use in Africa. Behind every
preventable illness and death that is caused by tobacco are families whose
breadwinners are taken away. The combined cost to national healthcare budgets
is manifold. Now is the time for African researchers, policymakers, development
partners and communities to unite in joint action for tobacco control,” Prof
The assistant commissioner in charge of mental health at the health ministry,
Dr Hafsa Lukwata says at the moment very few policies supposed to control the use
of tobacco are made using research.
"At the moment research is the missing link. There's a little
emphasis put into carrying it out at the moment to feed our policies but we
need it. Getting evidence-based solutions through research carried out in
communities can go a long way in fusing out policies," she said.