Towards a zero tobacco public space in Cameroon

smoking norway

(Unsplash, 2018)

This article was exclusively written for the The European Sting by Mr. WUNDE Njineck UBRAINE, a second year medical student at the Faculty of Health Sciences
of the University of Bamenda, Cameroon 
. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


In Cameroon, the use of tobacco is as old as its history. Tobacco even became an integral part of some Cameroonian cultures and a source of income to some others, as it was a major cash crop back in the days. Tobacco is a south American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) with addictive characteristics whose leaves contain 2-8% of nicotine and serve as a source of both smoking and smokeless tobacco. In 2000, the United States government classified tobacco as a known human carcinogen.

Tobacco is consumed in many different ways, which have been classified under smoking and smokeless techniques of consumption. The smokeless techniques involve chewing and sniffing tobacco. These methods tend mostly to affect the consumer alone. The smoking technique is that which is most common and is our major concern in this article, as it does not affect the consumer only, but his immediate entourage too.

Cameroon became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on May 4, 2006 wherein she ratified and enacted the following clauses as concerns tobacco use in public spaces in the country.

  1. Smoke Free Places: Smoking is prohibited in schools, universities and Ministry buildings. Smoking is not regulated in any other indoor public place, indoor workplace or on any means of public transportation. But Cooperate bodies and individuals took it upon themselves to prohibit the use of tobacco in their service points, for their personal health benefit and for that of their entourage.
  2. Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: There is a ban on tobacco advertising and promotion on television, radio and in the printed press as well as on outdoor advertising. Tobacco sponsorship is allowed with restriction.
  3. Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: The law requires text-only health warnings to appear on at least 50 percent of the main surfaces on tobacco product packages. Beginning January 3, 2019, the law will require pictorial health warnings on 70 percent of the front and back surfaces.
  4. Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation: Three circulars restrict smoking in certain public places and workplaces, ratified by the Ministry of the Economy and Finances, Ministry of Secondary Education, (creating nonsmoking areas and anti-smoking clubs in schools) and the Ministry of Higher Education and Public Academic Institutions.

Despite all these strives and efforts made, the situation on the ground is not exactly up to expectation. It is still common to find smokers in and around school campuses and despite the provision of special areas in markets for smoking, markets can still be found flooded with buyers and sellers smoking while carrying on with their various businesses, thereby exposing the average man to residual tobacco. Presently, the public spaces which can be declared tobacco free are churches, mosques, ministry buildings and some other private and cooperate service points (gas filling stations, some public transport vessels and cooking gas service points). With the efforts put in place already as at now, everyone needs to put hands on deck for more still needs to be done to assure a ZERO Tobacco public space in Cameroon.

About the author

The Author, WUNDE Njineck UBRAINE, is a gentleman born on the 22nd February 1999 at the Alpha Royal Clinic, Bamenda, in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. He went through his primary, secondary and high school in Yaounde, where he obtained his first school Leaving Certificate, his General Certificate of Education; Ordinary and Advanced Levels. He took a course at the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Buea, then enrolled into medical school at the Faculty of Health Sciences
of the University of Bamenda and is presently in his second year. All along, he has spared no efforts at broadening his knowledge by attending seminars and workshops. He is an eloquent speaker and has occupied several leadership positions.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Dangerous Trumpism in the Middle East with an anti-European edge

Scores killed in ‘barbaric’ attack on Mali village, UN chief urges restraint, calls for ‘dialogue’ to resolve tensions

How to fight back against misinformation and polarization

Responding to the anger

A Sting Exclusive: “Europe needs decisive progress for stronger cybersecurity”, EU Commissioner Gabriel highlights from Brussels

Afghanistan: UN envoy urges further extension of ceasefire with Taliban, as Eid ul-Fitr gets underway

JADE Spring Meeting 2015- Europe’s Junior Entrepreneurs together for 4 days of networking, workshops and forward thinking

Customs Union: Fake and potentially dangerous goods worth nearly €740 million stopped at EU customs in 2018

UN rights expert ‘strongly recommends’ probe by International Criminal Court into ‘decades of crimes’ in Myanmar

In this Tokyo cafe, the waiters are robots operated remotely by people with disabilities

MEPs adopt plan to keep 2020 EU funding for UK in no-deal Brexit scenario

Green light for VAT overhaul to simplify system and cut fraud

“The markets have moved on renewables, policy makers must keep up”, A Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

Do not take the EP’s consent on MFF for granted, says Budget Committee Chair

Why our future relies on more inclusive and transparent innovation

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

Eurozone’s bank resolution mechanism takes a blow

Fair and Simple Taxation: Commission proposes new package of measures to contribute to Europe’s recovery and growth

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

Here’s what keeps CEOs awake at night (and why it might be bad news for your next job)

Further reforms in Sweden can drive growth, competitiveness and social cohesion

Medical workforce migration in Europe – Is it really a problem?

COVID-19: What the evidence so far means for containment

Women lose most from the climate crisis. How can we empower them?

Why protesters disrupted London Fashion Week

The growing cyber-risk to our electricity grids – and what to do about it

What companies gain by including persons with disabilities

EU leads the torn away South Sudan to a new bloody civil war

What happens after you recover from coronavirus? 5 questions answered

#TwitterisblockedinTurkey and so is Erdogan

In aftermath of Libya airstrike deaths, UN officials call for refugees and migrants to be freed from detention

UN envoy commends successful conclusion of Guinea-Bissau presidential election

Zero carbon buildings are possible following these four steps

COVID-19: Maintaining the teaching experience for students whilst delivering teaching virtually

Why economic growth depends on closing the interview gap

The European Commission and EU consumer authorities publish final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen

Children in crisis-torn eastern Ukraine ‘too terrified to learn’ amid spike in attacks on schools

Japan to invest in euro values

Subsidiarity and Proportionality: Task Force presents recommendations on a new way of working to President Juncker

Athens urged to fast track asylum seekers amid island shelters crisis – UNHCR

Accountability for atrocities in Myanmar ‘cannot be expected’ within its borders – UN investigator

GSMA Mobile 360: Connecting Cities, Connecting Lives, Connecting Europe

Why the next 4 months are crucial to the future of the ocean

Venezuela: MEPs call for free and fair elections in the crisis-torn country

Algeria must stop arbitrary expulsion of West African migrants in desert: UN migration rights expert

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

Questions & Answers on vaccine negotiations

ECB to support only banks not Peoples

UN chief highlights action across borders for ‘stable and prosperous Eurasia’

Will we join hands for a tomorrow without antimicrobial resistance?

Spread Her Wings: Let Her Fly

FIFA and UN kick off healthy living campaign, to harness global game’s ‘huge potential’

Corporate tax remains a key revenue source, despite falling rates worldwide

REACT-EU: EU support to mitigate immediate effects of the COVID-19 crisis

Warsaw wins 2020 Access City Award for making the city more accessible to citizens with disabilities

Turbocharging scientific discovery: with bits, neurons, qubits – and collaboration

FROM THE FIELD: India’s plastic waste revolution

Parliament’s interparliamentary delegations established

Black babies more likely to survive when cared for by Black doctors, suggests new study

The climate and COVID-19: a convergence of crises

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s