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Government passes tobacco control legislation

07 Feb 2019. The Ethiopian parliament has unanimously passed the Food and Medicine Administration Proclamation, that is considered the strictest tobacco control legislation in Africa, Premium Times reported.

According to the report, the new law mandates 100 per cent smoke-free public and work places, bans tobacco advertising and promotions, restricts the sale of flavoured tobacco products and requires pictorial warning labels covering 70 per cent of the front and back of all tobacco products. The law also bans the sale of heated tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and shisha, and prohibits tobacco sales to persons under the age of 21.

“As tobacco companies continue to set their sights on Africa, Ethiopia has set an example for what all African nations can and should to do curb tobacco use, the world’s leading cause of preventable death,” Director of Africa Programs, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Bintou Camara, was quoted as saying.

The new law reflects Ethiopia's commitment to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to which it acceded on 23 June 2014. Experts say, that the law will save lives and protect over 105 million people in Africa’s second most populous nation, according to the report.