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Outlaw tobacco in Nigeria, group tells WHO

By Abdulwahab Abdulah and Jane Echewodo

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been urged to educate tobacco consumers about the health consequences, addictive nature and mortal threat posed by tobacco.

Speaking  at a programme organised by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), in conjunction with the African Capacity Building foundation (ACBF),Ikeja,  a Senior Programme Officer, Okeke Anya, said stoppage of the use of tobacco products through measures such as 100 percent smoke free environment had become necessary.

Okeke argued that the core components of implementation includes education,  having regard for the law enforcement agents in order to monitor and improve effectiveness of implementation.

“Prohibit unnecessary interaction between government and the tobacco industry.

“Where interactions are necessary,  ensure  transparency, prevent conflict of interest between, and within government and tobacco industry. Raise awareness about, and de-normalize the tobacco industry practice.”

To reduce tobacco consumption in Nigeria, Okeke stressed the need for the introduction of high price and tax measures.

“Intake of tobacco and cigarette has caused a lot of harm in the health of  Nigerian citizens and we all  pay for it in one way or the other.”

He further noted that name and shame of the person who speaks against tobacco while taken it in a hiding environment should also be applied.

Okeke added: “The enactment of a strong tobacco control law is an important step but legislation alone does not signal the end of a policy advocacy campaign journey.

“The law must be effectively implemented to achieve its public health goals. In most countries,  once a law is passed,  regulations must be developed.

“Therefore, a plan for implementation is essential.”




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