FG Takes Strict Measures Against Tobacco Consumption
The Federal Government is to enforce the National Tobacco Control Act 2015,to curb tobacco consumption in Nigeria.
The National Tobacco Control Act 2015 which was signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan ranks Nigeria one of nations that have domesticated the World Health Organisation (WHO) treaty of 2005.
The February 27, 2005 treaty, marked the first time that the WHO went as far as enacting international legal powers to address tobacco addiction and its deadly fall-outs among member states.
The minister of Health,Professor Isaac Adewole who made the announcement in Abuja,at a news briefing to mark the 2017 World No Tobacco Day,said government would begin with the implementation of the following
i. Prohibition of sale of tobacco products to and by anyone below 18.
ii. Ban of sale of cigarettes in single sticks. Cigarettes must be sold in packs of 20 sticks only.
iii. Smokeless tobacco shall be sold in a minimum of a pack of 30 grams.
iv. Ban of sale or offer for sale or distribution of tobacco or tobacco products through mail, internet or other online devices
v. Prohibition of interference of tobacco industry in public health and related issues.
vi. Prohibition of smoking in anywhere on the premises of a child care facility; educational facility; and health care facility. Other prohibited places for smoking include playgrounds; amusement parks; plazas; public parks; stadium, public transports, restaurants, bars, or other public gathering spaces.
vii. Prosecution of owner or manager of any of the places listed above, who permits, encourages or fails to stop smoking in the above listed places.
viii. Prohibition of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship of any kind.
ix. Compliance with specified standard for content as set out by Standards Organisation of Nigeria.
Adewole noted that available evidence from World Health Organization (WHO) shows that tobacco use costs national economies immensely, through increased health-care cost and decrease productivity.
He said the ministry in partnership with Washington DC based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids will in June 2017 launch a 6-months behavioral change campaign.
“This will create awareness among Nigerians above the provisions of the act as well as the grave danger and burden of disease associated with tobacco use.”he added.