Ban on public smoking to begin

Cigarette Smoking Harmful

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has affirmed that the ban on public smoking is still in force and would be enforced soon.

The Authority says it intend to organise intensive training programme on the Public Health Act 2002, Act 851 (6), for the security agencies, judiciary and other key institutions to position them well for the rigid enforcement of the ban.

Mr Daniel Nti, a Regulatory Officer, at the Brong-Ahafo Regional Office of the Authority said this at the closing session of a 10-day training course for members of the Regional branch of the Ghana Progressive Hotels Association in Sunyani.

It was organised by the Association in collaboration with Oasis Management Limited, a consultancy firm, and sponsored by the sponsored by the Skill Development Fund of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).

The course was aimed at empowering the participants on safety rules in the hospitality industry, and also help them to strictly adhere to standards in their work.

Mr Nti explained that since the passage of the Public Health Act, the Authority with support from other partners had engaged in continuous education on especially part six of the Act to sensitise the public.

He emphasised that though education on the ban is still on-going some people continue to smoke in public places warning that any person who are caught would be prosecuted.

Mr Nti said offenders are liable to a fine of not more than 750 penalty units or not more than three years imprisonment or both.

He said according to the law it is an offence to sell tobacco product to persons below 18 years.

Mr Nti said FDA would soon embark on an exercise to inspect whether traders and retailers in tobacco business are adhering to laid down guidelines.

Traders or retailers who breach any provision in the Act in the course of their business would also be arrested and prosecuted, he said.

Mr Charles Adu-Gyamfi, First National Vice President, of Ghana Progressive Hotels Association, expressed the need to for such courses to be organised periodically for members of the Association to enable them strictly adhere to best cooking practices.

Mr Paul Bismark Gyasi, Regional Chairman of the Association commended the COTVET for the support and entreated participants to take advantage of the training to upgrade themselves.

source : GNA