…Vows to clamp down on tobacco act defaulters in Port Harcourt
By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT: Federal Government has warned tobacco retailers in Rivers State against sale of single stick cigarette, flavoured cigarettes and shisha, stating that such act contravenes National Tobacco Control Act, 2015.
FG also vowed that anyone caught violating the recently launched Act would face the full wrath of the law.
Consumer Protection Council, CPC, and Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, disclosed this in Port Harcourt, yesterday, when they resumed enforcement on Tobacco retailing shops clubs in Port Harcourt.
Speaking, Johnson Otti, Acting Zonal Coordinator, FCCPC, warned retailers of cigarette to stop acts that violates the National Tobacco Control Act, adding that the commission would commence clamp down on defaulters in the state in June.
Otti stated that the tobacco product should not be sold to children under 18 years, and that cigarette should only be sold in packs and not single stick to discourage children and less privileged persons from consuming the product.
He said: “The essence is to sensitize sellers not to sell those tobacco with flavor. Tobacco should not also be to minors or children under 18 years because it is against the law and if you sell and you are caught, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. You can be jailed or fined.
“Part of the strategy to stop children from smoking is to ensure the seller sells only in packet because it would be very difficult for children to get enough money to buy a packet of cigarette than a stick.
“In the next three months after sensitization, enforcement will begin during which we would clamp down on defaulters.”
Meanwhile, the Coordinator of Nigerian Tobacco Control Alliance, NTCA, Mr. Oluseun Esan, lauded the government for commencing the enforcement in Port Harcourt.
Esan said: “We are happy that the federal government is waking up to its responsibility on tobacco control. The enforcement is timely and should be sustained.”