August 1, 2008
The Government will soon issue guidelines to give fresh impetus to a statutory instrument that bans smoking in public places.
Local Government and Housing Minister Sylvia Masebo said in Lusaka yesterday that the public places as referred to in statutory instrument (SI) 39 of 2008 are premises, buildings, conveyances and other places to which the public has access.
Launching a youth smoking prevention campaign by British American Tobacco (BAT), Ms Masebo said the ministry would soon issue regulations to guide the public on the prohibition of smoking in public places.
She appealed to service providers running bars, nightclubs, restaurants and other patronised places to ensure that they accommodated smoking patrons in designated areas by way of demarcation.
Ms Masebo said the youth should be prevented from accessing tobacco.
"We strongly believe that smoking should only be a prerogative of adults who are aware of the risks posed by smoking and can therefore make an informed decision.
"The ban against smoking in public places is a measure taken to protect the youth and other members of the public from unnecessary exposure and should therefore be supported by all," she said.
She said young people were particularly vulnerable to the risks of smoking because of its addictive nature.
Ms Masebo hailed BAT for initiating the campaign to ban the sale of cigarettes to people under the age of 18.
"What they are saying simply is that they like to make money, but they would like to make money by selling tobacco to those that are conscious about their decision to smoke," she said.
BAT Zambia managing director Lovemore Manatsa said the company introduced the campaign in line with the principles which its holding company launched in 2001 to prohibit the sale of tobacco to younger members of society.
Mr Manatsa said the company had even raised the bar by introducing a campaign against smoking by youths under the age of 18, when the ceiling stipulated by the Zambian law was 16 years.
He said under the international marketing standards introduced by BAT, the company had stopped promoting all commercial activities that would otherwise appeal to younger people, such as television and radio advertisements, and larger billboards and posters.
He said it was, however, disappointing that some competitors had taken advantage of the responsible actions of BAT to gain market ground by not adopting similar measures.
Under the youth smoking prevention campaign that starts tomorrow, BAT Zambia has developed 10,000 posters and corresponding numbers of leaflets and danglers carrying anti-youth smoking messages.