The Minister of Health and Wellness Hon. Dr Lemogang Kwape says it is the intention of the Ministry of Health and Wellness to ensure that young people are protected from the manipulative tactics employed by the tobacco industry and related industries. In his World No Tobacco Day 2020 speech, Dr Kwape highlighted that his ministry will collaborate with Civil Society Organizations to empower the youth with information and knowledge on tobacco and nicotine products. He added that they will empower influencers to protect and defend youth and catalyze change by encouraging them in the fight against Big Tobacco
The Minister further indicated that the theme for this year’s commemoration; ´Protecting Youth from Industry Manipulation and Preventing them from Tobacco and Nicotine Use´, is very fitting and relevant to the current times and trends as the tobacco industry is targeting young people as replacement customers. ” Our young people remain vulnerable to an array of persuasive, carefully crafted commercial messages encouraging the use of tobacco products. A broad range of social, environmental, psychological, and genetic factors further renders them susceptible to manipulate the tobacco industry through their ever rising trends
in tobacco marketing. It is therefore the responsibility of the Government of Botswana to protect our leaders of tomorrow from industries whose main aim and intention is to destroy them,” said Dr Kwape.
In addition, Dr Kwape stated that the use and sale of tobacco and tobacco related products remain suspended during the State of Public Health Emergency, highlighting that the decision was taken to protect the nation from the severity of Covid-19 in addition to protection from notable habits of smokers such as sharing of tobacco products such as cigarettes and smoking pipes.
Furthermore, Dr Kwape said that they are working with all key stakeholders in ensuring that the long pending comprehensive tobacco control bill goes to parliament. “Bagaetsho, we make note the frustrations that have been caused by the delay in passing the proposed bill into an Act, and therefore wish to assure you that the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in collaboration with key stakeholders, are working around the clock to ensure that the passing of this bill becomes a reality,” he highlighted.
Anti Tobacco Network