Mathiwos Wondu-YeEthiopia Cancer Society (MWECS) experiences in involvement of Ethiopian Tobacco Control Policy Advocacy
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Sefakto Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU), BETA Project, Building Effective Tobacco Control Advocates in Africa (BETA) Project, Ethiopia
Sefakto Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU), BETA Project, Ethiopia
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A655
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Ethiopia is the second populous country in Africa. In 2015, 4.2% of adults smoke. Despite, the proportion is low; it is a small percentage of large population with an increasing trend. The potential growth of the tobacco market attracted a significant investment from Japan Tobacco International, which acquired 40% share . This is a threat that needs to be countered, as an increase in tobacco use will have huge public health and developmental implications. The current Tobacco control directive is not FCTC compliant as it allows for designated smoking and lacks enforcement. Ethiopia levied much weaker ad valorem excise tax, despite known effectiveness of taxation on reducing the demand for tobacco . Thus policy level advocacy on Tobacco control is being underway with MWECS mounting pressure to control the negative consequences of Tobacco. This presentation highlights CSOs advocacy for stringent TC polices.

Intervention or response:
MWECS is closely collaborating with a coalition of CSOs that galvanized an advocacy effort to leverage support for stronger FCTC compliant bill. As part of building the coalition, CSOs established a collaboration and networking, with key government officials, media, celebrities, other NGOs.

Results and lessons learnt:
As a result of this broader engagements , a new law is being drafted and includes 100% Smoke Free Environment , Total Advertising Promotion and Sponsorship ban, Graphic Health Warning more than 70 %. It is also advocating for implementation of the World Bank recommendation to establish mixed tax system, complementing the ad valorem with a Uniform Specific tax.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Legislation and implementation of FCTC compliant law is critical in Ethiopia. CSOs have the ability to advocate and support the development of stronger legislation. However, the threat of tobacco industry interference is growing with the entry of JTI. Thus, strengthening the capacity to monitor and counter tobacco industry interference is essential for the success of TC law.

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