By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 26 January 2013:
Libya’s Ministry of Health has expressed its concern regarding the high rates of tobacco use by . . .[restrict]Libyan youth, LANA reports.
The Ministry which has carried out a recent survey of smokers amongst youth, was particularly perturbed by the number of young smokers in the student cohort between the ages of 13-15 years of age.
The survey released yesterday reveals some interesting details about smoking habits of Libya’s youth.
According to the survey:
– 8.1% of teenagers aged 13-15 years old in Libyan schools are smokers
– 13.4% of teenage students aged 13-15 years old in Libyan schools smoked at least once
– 27.7% of smoking teenage students aged 13-15 purchase tobacco directly from shops
– 11% of male teenage students aged 13-15 years old smoked at least once
– compared to only 5% of female students aged 13-15 years old who smoked once
It will be interesting to see if the Libyan government will take preventative action against the spread of the smoking habit amongst youth.
For example, will the state attempt to enforce stricter rules and regulations on retailers selling tobacco to under age children and whether the Libyan state will consider putting taxes on tobacco as a deterent to underage smkers.
Of course, the issue of enforceability will be the main barrier at least in the short term to the Libyan authorities realistically being able to enforce any such regulations.
Currently the Local Council police is still in the early days of its reactivation and Libya’s attempts to monitor and control its borders are a matter of International debate and attention.
One of the most smuggled goods across Libya’s huge, isolated and porous borders, together with subsidized goods, drugs and alcohol – is cheap tax-evading and often out of date tobacco. [/restrict]