• February 21, 2024

Crackdown on public-places smoking in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is cracking down on tobacco smoking in public places after aligning its tobacco control regulations with recommendations from the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), according to a ZimEye story.

The deputy director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse unit of the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Docas Sithole, said Zimbabwe had become an affiliate member of the FCTC in March this year.

Sithole was quoted as saying that the subsequent alignment of the country’s tobacco control policies would see law enforcers descending on public smoking offenders.

According to Zimbabwe’s tobacco control regulation 264 of 2001, smoking in public places was an offence, she added, and all public smokers would be prosecuted.

The offence attracted a $500 fine or a custodial sentence not exceeding six months.

Sithole said the government was trying to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke.

Passive smoking had been linked to lung cancer, she said, because second-hand smoke contained more than 4 000 chemicals, many of which were irritants and toxins, and some of which were known to cause cancer.