By Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJA â€” The Senate Committee on Health, yesterday, heard that an estimated 6.5 million Nigerians are on death row due to tobacco addiction.
This figure was given by Mr. Aknibode Oluwafemi, Programme Manager of Environmental Rights Actions/Friends of the Earth in a presentation to the Senate Committee on Health at the two-day public hearing on the bill to amend the National Tobacco Control Act, in Abuja.
Oluwafemi also told the Committee that the result of study conducted in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Ibadan had shown an increase in number of youth smokers to alarming 26 per cent, saying two people die every day in Lagos from tobacco related diseases.
He said: â€œThe National Control Bill is a bold step towards addressing tobacco use and its attendantâ€™s health, social, economic and environmental cost. Adult smoking rate in Nigeria is put at 17 per cent.â€
Earlier in her remark, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, stressed on the need to regulate tobacco smoking in Nigeria due to its harmful effect on the health on Nigerians.
She said” â€œThere is no doubt right now about the health effects of tobacco. I think that the world has come to a consensus that we can all agree that there is some detrimental health effects of tobacco and it took a long time for the world to get to this point.