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Lawyer advocates enforcement of ban on smoking in public places in FCT

A lawyer, Mr Ufere Mbah, has called for enhanced enforcement of the ban on smoking in public places in the Federal Capital Territory.

Mbah said in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday that the objective of the law would not be achieved if it was not enforced reasonably.

He listed such public places to include schools, hospitals, day-care centres, public transportation, libraries, museums, public toilets, markets, viewing centres and restaurants.

“This law is meant for public good but if it is not enforced, then the essence is defeated.

“In as much as smoking is not a crime, non-smokers should be protected from the health hazards associated with passive smoking,’’ Mba said.

FCT administration had in 2008 introduced the ban on smoking in public places but its implementation has been difficult.

Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa (PDP-Delta), the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, recently cited statistics showing that 6.4 million Nigerians were exposed to tobacco smoke in restaurants.

Okowa made the disclosure at a public hearing to consider the harmonised National Tobacco Control Bill (Senate Bill) 2012 and 2014 Executive Bill.

The bill seeks to protect Nigerians from health, social, economic and environmental consequences of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke amongst others. Reports also revealed thst  that over 90 countries in the world have full or partial ban on public smoking.


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