- Title: ZAMBIA: Zambia bans smoking in public places
- Date: 31st May 2008
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ZAMBIAN MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT, SYLVIA MASEBO, SAYING: "If you are in a public building like the hospital grounds or indeed in a church, you will not be expected to smoke in such public places. And so, its upon various sectors to begin to identify which places they will designate for smoking."
- Embargoed: 15th June 2008 13:00
- Location: Zambia
- Country: Zambia
- Topics: Health
- Reuters ID: LVA3ALAKJ026S1D9H0P5JPMIUCHK
- Story Text: Zambia's government bans smoking in public places and says offenders will be fined up to 130 US dollars or receive a two-year jail sentence.
The Zambian government on Thursday (May 29) banned smoking in public places, and said offenders will be fined up to 400,000 Zambian Kwachas (about 130 US dollars) or jailed for a maximum of two years.
Local Government and Housing minister, Sylvia Masebo announced the ban which is to take effect immediately.
Masebo said buses, hospitals, churches or any public buildings were non-smoking areas and she called on various sectors to identify places which they deemed fit for smoking.
"If you are in a public building like the hospital grounds or indeed in a church, you will not be expected to smoke in such public places.
And so, its upon various sectors to begin to identify which places they will designate for smoking," Masebo said.
Masebo added she was compelled to pass the law due to a lack of consideration by smokers of other members of the public and the hazardous nature of second-hand smoke.
Many Zambians have welcomed the government's decision.
"Myself, I am asthmatic and if somebody is smoking, maybe I am next to somebody who is smoking, it affects me," said Tambu Changa, a Lusaka resident.
"If they smoke cigarettes, they pollute the environment, so it needs to be stiff punishment on those people who smoke cigarettes," added Kebby Kachali, another Lusaka resident.
"I think it's up to us Zambians to take it upon ourselves to tell people that are smoking to stop whenever they are, whenever we see them smoking," said Mwiche Sichone, another Lusaka resident However, others feel the penalty fee is much too high.
"Because one is buying a cigarette worth 250 or 300 okay and is fined 400,000 which is a salary of somebody," said Emmanuel Mumbi.
The ban comes ahead of World No Tobacco Day to be marked on May 31.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None