Govt Moves to Ban Public Smoking

Windhoek — With the Tobacco Products Control Act No 1 of 2010 to be gazetted next month, after which it will be enforced, effectively banning people from smoking in public places, a random survey by New Era yesterday indicates that many people fully support what they consider a progressive law.

Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) student, Selma Mkamwandi said some people find it offensive when they are told to move a little distance away from non-smokers while they are smoking. “It is good that smoking would be banned from public places, because some people smoke next to you not considering that not everybody likes the smell of cigarettes. So when you comment on that they may end up insulting you,” she said. Musician Lamek Shatilwe whose stage name is ‘Satlam’ told New Era that second-hand smoke has negative effects on non-smokers since their health may be affected the same as that of smokers. “I am in support of the Act, because not everybody wants to smoke in their lives,” said Shatilwe, who added that amongst others, smoking can cause cancer.

Well known musician, Lazarus Shiimi whose real name is Gazza said there is good reason why the law should be gazetted and enforced. “I have trust in my leadership,” he added, saying he is in support of the ban. He however noted that smoking is not the only harmful practice on earth and although he is not a smoker, he is not bothered by second-hand smoke.

Shiimi says his smoking friends know not to smoke around him or his family and many of his friends are non-smokers. He pointed out that some public places such as restaurants have smokers’ zones and he has not seen people smoking openly in places such as shopping malls. “Public smoking is bad, but there are a whole lot of other things that are bad such as eating fatty foods. Smokers should just abide by the rules and not smoke in public places,” says Shiimi. Asked for comment, artist Petrus Johannes, know as Jay R said he does not smoke and “something must be done to those who smoke in public places.” The law will also make it compulsory for tobacco firms to package cigarettes with graphic pictures and warnings on the dangers of smoking, as well as limit and control the advertising of tobacco.