July 10, 2009

FG to stop tobacco smoking

By Inalegwu Shaibu

ABUJA—The Minister of Health, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin yesterday revealed the Federal Government’s commitment to check the consumption of tobacco in the country, just as the Senate Committee on Health also disclosed that it had perfected arrangement to ensure the passage of the National Tobacco Control Bill.

Professor Osotimehin who spoke at an interactive session organised by the sponsor of the Bill, Senator Olurunimbe Mamora in Abuja decried the huge impact of the harmful effect tobacco smoking is having on the citizens.

He said the government being conscious of the security and welfare of the
people, would do anything to pass the law against tobacco consumption.

He said, “I want to tell you that I am very passionate about anti-tobacco legislation. This British-American Tobacco (BAT) people once came to talk to me on how we could work together but I said no! I cannot work with BAT people because the human cost of tobacco is enormous. We should do everything possible to ban tobacco smoking because it does not add value at all.

“Some people talk about the economic value of tobacco companies but I don’t believe there is any economic value because when they employ 20,000 people, they kill 100,000.