Tobacco control and prevention efforts in Ethiopia pre- and post-ratification of WHO FCTC: Current challenges and future directions
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School of Pharmacy, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
College of Law, Dire Dawa University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
Daniel Asfaw Erku   

School of Pharmacy, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
Publish date: 2019-02-22
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2019;17(February):13
Being the second most populous African country, Ethiopia represents a huge opportunity for the tobacco industry to recruit new smokers. Ethiopia signed the convention to ratify WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2004 and ratified in 2014. We reviewed Ethiopia’s tobacco control legislative history pre- and post-ratification of the WHO FCTC and evaluated the level of compliance of the National Tobacco Control Directive (NTCD) with the WHO FCTC.

We reviewed Ethiopia’s tobacco legislative history, the NCTD, the National Tobacco Control Strategic Plan, and tobacco control related media stories from 2009 to 2018. The level of compliance of NTCD with WHO FCTC was compared and qualitatively analysed.

NTCD 2015 is Ethiopia’s first comprehensive tobacco control legislation, which for the most part is WHO FCTC compliant. The legislation prohibits, among other things, sale of flavoured tobacco products including menthol, sale of tobacco products to a person under the age of 18 years and bans all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship. Yet, the current legislation allows smoking designated rooms in some prohibited places. Although a multi-sectoral National Tobacco Control Committee and a Strategic Plan were developed as per Article 5 of WHO FCTC, activities pertaining to the protection of such tobacco control policies from vested interests of the tobacco industry (WHO FCTC Article 5.3) are not addressed in NTCD 2015.

Major gaps in the NTCD 2015 such as allowing smoking designated rooms should be addressed in order to stop the tobacco industry from using such loopholes to interfere with national tobacco control policies and/or maintain its tobacco market. Moreover, the tobacco control policies and efforts should be institutionalized across various sectors in order to ensure implementation of the NTCD.

Authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
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