21 Dec 2010
ZACA’s Programme Officer Theresa Mondela says the law’s lack of enforcement is due to key government decision makers being influenced by the tobacco industry, and the country’s Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) not doing their jobs properly.
“The EHOs complain of not having enough resources to carry out their jobs effectively,” said Mondela. “They need more training and sensitisation to the harm caused by second-hand tobacco smoke, plus the government needs to allocate more resources to preventing and promoting care as opposed to curative care.”
In a recent press release ZACA called on the EHOs to: “rise to the occasion and ensure the law does not only remain beautiful on paper.”
According to Mondela, this request comes at an important time because the US Surgeon General (the US government’s leading health authority) recently released a report that shows smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke can cause immediate harm to the human body though cancer, heart attacks, lung disease and many other serious illnesses, including damage to the reproductive systems of both men and women.
The report also concludes that changes to cigarettes like filter ventilation, flavouring agents and added chemical ingredients have (over time) increased their addictiveness.