Comoros- Country Profile

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Comoros is an African island located off the east coast of Mozambique and to the northwest of Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries.[1] The population of Comoros is 770,000, over half of whom are under the age of 15.[2]

Smoking in Comoros

Data suggest that in 2012, 24% of the adult male population aged 15 and over in Comoros smoked.[3] According to the Tobacco Atlas, every year more than 200 people die of tobacco-related disease in Comoros, while more than 4,000 children use tobacco each day.[4]

Roadmap to Tobacco Control

In 2006 Comoros ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).[5] In an attempt to address the tobacco epidemic and protect public health, the government of Comoros has since been developing tobacco control legislation.[6] In May 2010, four years after becoming a party to the FCTC, the government introduced a legislative health order aimed at limiting smoking on public transport and advertising of tobacco products.[7]

More recently, in 2011, the Law on Tobacco came into force.[8] Although the law covers the following areas and introduces penalties for non-compliance, it is not compliant with the FCTC:

  • Partial protection against exposure to tobacco smoke;
  • Partial regulation of Tobacco Advertising Promotion and Sponsorship (TAPS);
  • Text only health warnings;
  • Restrictions on sale of tobacco to minors.[9]

A number of subsequent legislative health orders have since been adopted to strengthen specific areas of the Law, including the introduction of health warnings covering 40% of the “total surface area of each one of the principal surfaces”.[10] Similarly, an Inter-ministerial order, enacted in April 2013, provided clear guidance on the criteria of those to be considered “tobacco vendors” and required that points-of-sale for tobacco products have a “notice panel reminding people of the danger associated with tobacco consumption”.[11]

Obstacles to Implementation

Nevertheless, these measures fail to comply with the standards required by the FCTC, highlighting the need for stronger measure to achieve FCTC compliance.

It is worth noting that is a common tactic of the tobacco industry to use its influence and leverage its political relationships to support the passage of weak tobacco control legislation, often because once some form of legislation is enacted, there is often less political will to develop further, stronger tobacco control legislation.[12]

TobaccoTactics Resources

Notes

  1. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, accessed November 2015
  2. World Population Review, Comoros Population Review, 2015, accessed November 2015
  3. World Bank,Smoking prevalence, males (% of adults), 2015, accessed October 2015
  4. World Lung Foundation, The Tobacco Atlas, 2015, accessed October 2015
  5. World Health Organization, FCTC Implementation Database – Comoros, 2014, accessed October 2015
  6. CTFK, Tobacco Control Laws, Country Details for Comoros, accessed October 2015
  7. Ministry of Health, Solidarity and Gender, The Government of Union of Comoros, Ministry of Health, Administrative Order No. 018 /MSSPG/CAB, 24 May 2010, accessed November 2015
  8. The Government of the Union of Comoros, Law No. 11-002/AU of 27 March 2011 on Tobacco Control, 14 July 2011, accessed October 2015
  9. Ministry of Health, Solidarity and Gender, The Government of the Union of Comoros, Law No 11-002/AU of March 27 2011 on tobacco control, April 2011, accessed October 2015
  10. Ministry of Health, Solidarity and Gender, The Government of the Union of Comoros, Ministry of Health Order No. 13-012 on Provisions for the Implementation of the Law of March 20, 2011 on Tobacco Control, 10 April 2013, accessed October 2015
  11. Minsitry of Health, Solidarity and Gender, The Government of the Union of Comoros Interministerial Administrative Order No. 13-019 on Provisions on Points of Sale for Tobacco Products, 27 April 2013, accessed October 2015
  12. A.B. Gilmore, G. Fooks, J. Drope, S.A. Bialous, R.R. Jackson Exposing and addressing tobacco industry conduct in low-income and middle-income countries, The Lancet, 14 March 2015, accessed July 2015