Petition: Tell the Ethiopian government to stop its expansion of tobacco farms and cigarette production, which will harm millions of Ethiopians!

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Young child sitting next to a box of cigarettes and chewing gum, which she is selling for her mother on the streets of Addis Ababa, January 2017

 

Please click on the following link and sign the petititon if you believe it is wrong for the Ethiopian government to expand tobacco farms, and increase cigarette production and smoking rates in Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries on Earth:

https://www.change.org/p/gizachew-hagos-stop-expansion-of-tobacco-farms-and-cigarette-production-in-ethiopia

In 2016, the Ethiopian government made a huge financial deal to the sum of  US $500 million with Japan Tobacco International (JTI), one of the world’s biggest tobacco companies. JTI is known for its expansion into “emerging markets,” in other words, developing countries. Ethiopia was, at the time of this massive deal, in the midst of a terrible drought that left more than 15 million poor Ethiopians at risk for famine.

The deal contravenes the WHO FCTC tobacco treaty, which Ethiopia ratified in 2014. It also promises to devastate the health of millions of Ethiopians in the years to come, by increasing the prevalence of Ethiopians who smoke. Smoking is also a risk factor for developing tuberculosis, as well as for increased morbidity and mortality from tuberculosis, which is a major health issue in Ethiopia, so an increase in smoking prevalence there may well hinder tuberculosis control programmes.

Expansion of tobacco farms in Ethiopia will also put many poor children at risk for child labour on tobacco farms. Already, Ethiopia has a terrible situation in which child labour is a major problem there.

Young girl Outside Tikur Anbessa 1 face blurred
12 year old girl selling cigarettes on street in Addis Ababa, 2015

The Ethiopian government, whose oppression of its citizens is already aggressive and intense, has put the health and well being of its citizens below financial incentives, which is shameful.

I ask those of you who care about public health in general, Ethiopia in particular, and exploitation of citizens through marketing of tobacco to youth by governments and tobacco companies, to go to the following web site and sign the petition, imploring the Ethiopian government to end its dealings in tobacco that will expand tobacco farms, increase the prevalence of cigarettes smokers, and cause further devastation to Ethiopia’s already ailing public health system:

 

 

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