(Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s semi-autonomous
Zanzibar archipelago has begun enforcing the Tobacco Control
Regulations, which bans smoking in public places, a senior
official said on Friday.
Jamala Taib, Director General
of Zanzibar’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, said that
the decision to enforce the anti-smoking regulations came after
realizing that there is a rise of health problems linked to
tobacco use such as cancer, heart disease and high blood
pressure in the archipelago.
He said: "These new tobacco control regulations provide clear
restrictions to tobacco use in public places, tobacco
advertisement, promotion, sponsorship packaging and labeling of
"Zanzibar is not producing tobacco and has no cigarettes
making factories but there are many people who are being
affected by smokes generated by cigarette smokers," Taib said in
The official added that research has shown that large
percentages of people in the Indian Ocean islands who are
affected by the reckless cigarette smoking.
According to Taib, 15 percent of deaths of nonsmokers in
Zanzibar are caused by those who smoke in public places.
Among other innovative tobacco control measures in Zanzibar
include increasing taxes on tobacco products as well as reaching
out to youth.
He cited police, other security and the general public as key
partners in enforcing smoke free regulations, which requires
cigarettes smokers to stay far away from the public for the
healthier benefits of non-smokers.
Smokers must be some meters away from public spaces, such as
schools, hospitals, bus stations, and even in vehicles.
All these are considered public places, according to the
Tobacco control legislation provides the authority to
regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco
products, and ultimately control the tobacco epidemic in
Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of
Tanzania consisting of Zanzibar Island, Pemba Island and many
According to World Health Organization (WHO), cigarette
smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in
the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting
from secondhand smoke exposure.
This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths
On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.