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Public Smoking Banned in Sierra Leone

By Abdul Hassan Fackie,
Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Parliament has on the 3rd August, 2022 enacted into law, with some amendments, the Bill entitled "The Tobacco and Nicotine Act, 2022”.

The law seeks to  provide for the control and regulation of the production, manufacturing, importation, packaging and labeling, advertising, promotion and sponsorship, sale and use of tobacco, tobacco products, and other nicotine products, to provide for the improvement of public health by limiting the health harms caused by the use of, and exposure to, tobacco including nicotine, by reducing demand for tobacco and nicotine products and to provide for the incorporation of Sierra Leone's obligations under the World Health Organization Framework Convention in Tobacco Control into domestic law, to provide for the establishment of the Tobacco and Nicotine Control Secretariat responsible for the implementation of the Act and to provide for other related matters.

In effect it means that any substance that is smokable will now be done in private and not in public places. Such items include tobacco and tobacco products in their various forms, cigarettes, cannabis sativa, seesha, and other smokable products.

The age for an individual to buy, produce, possess,  manufacture, store, transport, sell or use tobacco or tobacco products is eighteen years.

The law also provides that all tobacco or tobacco products should indicate the warning that smoking is injurious to the health of the consumer.

The law also gives passive smokers in public places to take legal action against any one who may use tobacco or tobacco products in public places.

To be clear on the meaning of public and private places, the law adequately defines public places and private places and gives the different between these two places.

The law provides that violation of the provisions will attract high fines, or closure of premises, confiscation of equipment or jail terms.

The law has been widely received be the majority Sierra Leoneans as a very good law that will protect them from the harmful effects of tobacco and tobacco products.