The Africa launch of ‘No Fire, No Smoke; the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) — took place from 13th - 14th March in Lilongwe, Malawi, and on 18th March in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Lilongwe events were hosted by the Tobacco Harm Reduction Malawi project (THR Malawi) and the Journalists’ Association against AIDS (JournAIDS). The first day consisted of a formal launch of the GSTHR report, at an event attended by government and civil society stakeholders drawn from various fields ranging from health, agriculture, trade and industry, academia, media, smallholder farmers and nicotine consumers. The keynote speaker and Guest of Honour was Dr. Charles Mwansambo, Chief of Health Services at the Ministry of Health and Population Services.
The report launch’s theme was “Safeguarding public health - the role of Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR)”. The meeting discussed the potential for THR in a country that is heavily dependent on growing tobacco for export.
The second day took the form of a policy dialogue, examining potential context specific solutions for successful THR, and the interdependence of the shrinking global tobacco market; delivering THR in a mainly rural setting; and agricultural economics. This was followed by a press conference. Currently Malawi does not have any smoke-free policies in place and is not a signatory of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
In Nairobi the report was launched to an audience of tobacco harm reduction advocates from across Africa, drugs harm reduction researchers /staff, and civil society organisations. Kenya’s very active tobacco control organisations are antipathetic to tobacco harm reduction. A new pan-Africa THR organisation was launched at the event – the Campaign for Safer Alternatives – which has members in Angola, Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Lilongwe, Malawi launch of GSTHR
Kenya – launch of Campaign for Safer Alternatives