KIGALI, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Rwandan health authorities are working to tighten anti-smoking measures in a bid to reduce health risks, said the ministry of health.
Rwanda on Wednesday joined the rest of the world to mark "World No Tobacco Day" with a major focus on implementing strong tobacco control measures to prevent people falling ill and dying from tobacco-related disease.
The day that falls on May 31 every year has been observed since 1987 and aims at drawing people's attention to the massive health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
Rwanda observed the day with a wide range of activities that included increasing awareness of dangers of tobacco smoking using local radios, TV stations and free medical screening.
Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of celebrations, Marie Aimee Muhimpundu, head of non-communicable diseases at the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) of ministry of health, said they are embarking on tightening anti-tobacco measures like increasing taxes on tobacco products and launching a crackdown on tobacco products that are not complying with the Tobacco Control Law and Orders.
"We are also raising awareness, especially among the youth, about the dangers and consequences of tobacco usage. We are discouraging people from smoking in public places and we have embarked on campaigns to educate people about the dangers of being exposed to tobacco smoke," she added.
Muhimpundu said there are health facilities in the country that offer support and counseling services to the addicted persons to help them quit smoking and other tobacco practices.
Rwanda Tobacco Control Law and Orders states that a package of tobacco and tobacco products that do not bear warning imprints will be confiscated. Enditem