World Health Organization (WHO) awarded Certificate of Recognition to the House of Peoples Representatives today for the country’s commitment to promote smoke free environment.
The award follows the recent passing of the law that prohibits smoking at public and work places, tobacco advertising and promotions, and forbid sales of tobacco to anyone who is under the age of 21.
WHO representative to Ethiopia, Paul Mainuka said during the award giving ceremony that he appreciates the resolute commitment of the government to reduce the perilous effect of tobacco.
Ethiopia is one of the six African countries that has gained recognition by WHO.
Health Minister, Amir Aman said the price of cigarette is cheaper in Ethiopia than any other African country where a single pack of cigarette is sold 1.5 to 2 USD in Africa while it is 50 cents in Ethiopia.
He insisted that tax over cigarettes should be increased.
In light of this, the minister urged members of HPR to accelerate the already started process to increase the excise tax on cigarettes.
In Ethiopia, 3.4 million people smoke cigarettes, of which 2 millions are smoking every day, it was learned.