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Cancer Association advocates for youth protection from tobacco products

Cancer Association advocates for youth protection from tobacco products

As the world gears up to observe World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) on 31 May, the focus shifts towards safeguarding the youth from the pernicious grip of tobacco products.

The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) has taken a proactive stance in supporting the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ efforts to amend the existing Tobacco Control Act, aiming to encompass alternative tobacco products that have emerged since the enactment of the legislation in 2010.

CAN underscores its pivotal role in the initial development of the law and highlights the alarming rise in the use of waterpipes, hookah pipes, and similar products among Namibia’s youth, particularly in public spaces like schools and restaurants.

Complaints concerning this trend have been consistently elevated to the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Namibian Police.

In response to these concerns, CAN emphasizes the urgency of amending the current legislation and devising a proactive tobacco control strategy, including cessation programs. The review and formulation of these changes are slated to take place by mid-June, aiming to address existing limitations and challenges effectively.

Despite commendable efforts by the tobacco control community leading to a decline in cigarette smoking, CAN stresses the need for additional measures to safeguard vulnerable groups. Citing 2022 data revealing that at least 37 million young people aged 13 to 15 use tobacco in some form globally, CAN emphasizes the emerging threat posed by electronic cigarettes and nicotine pouches, which are gaining popularity among youth.

CAN sheds light on the tobacco industry’s relentless pursuit of profit, highlighting its tactics to lure the next generation of consumers. Through the creation of appealing products and advertising strategies, often disseminated via social media and streaming platforms, the industry seeks to perpetuate its revenue stream by replacing customers lost to mortality and cessation.

In urging collective action towards a tobacco-free world, CAN calls for unified efforts to shield the youth from tobacco’s detrimental effects. With a resolute commitment to advocacy and awareness, CAN implores stakeholders to join hands in combating the pervasive influence of tobacco products and safeguarding the well-being of future generations.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.