The vision for Alternative Development, an NGO in Ghana has called on Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to stop the sale of a single cigarette.
According to VALD, availability of a single cigarette encourage youth to engage more in tobacco smoking activities, which in turn destroys their lives as it causes diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases.
Labram Musah, The Programmes Director of VALD and Coordinator of Ghana NCD Alliance, while addressing a news conference made the call and discusses a survey conducted by VALD. The survey was done in collaboration with Africa Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) in 10 capital cities of Africa including Accra and Ghana.
The conference discussed on "Sale of Single Stick of Cigarette to Kids", the survey was conducted in the following countries Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Togo and Uganda. The survey in Ghana covered the areas around Nima, Maamobi, Kokomlemle and some parts of Osu community in Accra.
According to Mr Musah, a single cigarette is cheaper than a full packet and thus is more affordable. He further said," Single stick cigarette sale facilitate experimentation among the youth who have not yet become regular smokers. This is one of the major reasons the tobacco industry vehemently opposes the sale of cigarettes in a pack of 20 sticks."
According to the Programme Director," One of the measures to aid the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is the tax on tobacco products; it will serve as a revenue stream for government and also discourage smoking and initiation."