The Head of the World Health Organisation Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with the Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ambassador of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Head of the World Bank Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina directed an open letter yesterday to Members of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in support of adoption of the Law on Tobacco Control in the Federation of BiH.
The joint letter commends the FBiH Ministry of Health for preparing this law, and the FBiH Parliament for the positive steps taken in support of this important regulation. The letter welcomes the fact that the new law will be discussed at the upcoming session of the House of Peoples of the FBiH Parliament.
The situation regarding tobacco consumption in Bosnia and Herzegovina is worrying: the high prevalence of tobacco use is one of the key factors contributing to the rise of non-communicable diseases in the country. In the Federation of BiH alone, data shows that 8,400 persons die annually from diseases attributed to tobacco smoking. Furthermore, the current legal situation in the Federation of BiH falls short of full implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and is not harmonised with the EU legislation in this area.
The joint letter concludes that the adoption and enforcement of the Law on Tobacco Control in the Federation of BiH will have equally positive effects as similar legislation has globally, with substantial positive impact on the population’s health as well as on the economy.