TOBACCO CONSUMPTION IN CAMEROON: AN UNENDING FIGHT

Ecrit par le 18 janvier 2020

January 2018, the ministers of public health and commerce, signed a joint release, requesting that all cigarette packages carry graphic images of tobacco-related diseases.An order which took effect in 2019, with the main aim of fighting the consumption of this product which cause the Cameroon economy, about 28 million loss yearly.

Moving round the streets of Douala with a team of the Cameroon coalition against tobacco C3T, we noticed that a cross section of cigarettes sold do not respect the rules. They rather carry few lines warning messages. Inquiring further from cigarette vendors, one of them says< on achete car les gouts different. Parfois les grossistes nous disent que c’est le vieux stock qui ne respecte pas la réglementation> Asked if cigarette packages that carry graphic images scare away smokers, she adds < c’est vrai que plusieurs ne veulent pas que j’emballe leur cigarettes dans ces paquets la, mais cela ne les empêche de fumer >.

Standing by the road, under the scorching sun, a man holding his stick of cigarette sees no difference as for him< tu fumes, tu meurs. Tu ne fumes pas, tu meurs donc ca ne change rien>. Cigarette consumers are well aware of the dangers they are exposed to, but are too addicted to stop. Trying to know more from officials of the Littoral delegation of commerce,to know why all cigarette packages do not have illustrations like they are supposed to, we were left empty, as no answer was given. This reporter after hours waiting, left without any justification.

WHO statistics project that by this 2020, there will be 10 million fewer tobacco users, male and female, compared to 2018, and another 27 million less by 2025. Tobacco smoke contains some fifty chemicals that cause Lungs, mouth, pancreas, throat and other forms of cancers.


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