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Food and Drugs Authority to prosecute illegal cigarette sellers

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FDA3The Volta Region Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has seized assorted illegal cigarettes from the Ho Central market and would prosecute six women.

Each of the women would be fined 750 penalty units (GH₵12.00 penalty unit) or three years in prison or both if found guilty, Eugene Addo Regional Head of the FDA, told the Ghana News Agency.

The women were Mercy Makumator, Mavis Hadzor, Esinu Zegotia, Grace Addo, Edem Hadjie and Joyce Akorlia.

The FDA Regional Head said previous seizures and warnings seemed not to deter offenders hence the resort to prosecution.

The cigarette brands were Bond Street International and Bond Street Menthol, Bond Green and Bond Red, Rothmans Royals, Gold Seal Red and Gold Seal Green, Business Royal (Strawberry), Business Royal (Cherry), Business Royal (Green Apple), Empire and Godfrey Philips.

The cigarettes bore labels in Ewe and in some foreign languages except English.

Sections 58 to 77 of Ghana’s Public Health Act of 2012, (Act 85) on tobacco control, however outlaws such cigarettes, Addo said.

A properly labelled cigarette in Ghana must be in English Language warning smokers of the health risks they are taking.

The cigarettes must have the inscription “for sale in Ghana only”.

Ghana is signatory to the international convention on Tobacco control and it is illegal to smoke cigarette in public places in Ghana except in properly designated places.

Benedicta Akpene Ansah, Assistant Superintendent of Police, (ASP) Second-in-Command, Ho Municipal Police, assured the Food and Drugs Authority of the cooperation of the Police in safeguarding public health.

Source: GNA

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