Nigeria to get tough on tobacco

| August 11, 2016

Nigeria’s vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says the federal government is committed to the reduction of tobacco use in the country, especially among young people, according to a story by Timothy Choji for the Voice of Nigeria.

Speaking at the presidential villa to a group of anti-tobacco NGOs, Osinbajo expressed concern that not enough information was being disseminated about the dangers of smoking.

This, he said, had made it more difficult to convince people to quit the “dangerous habit of smoking”.

“We need the public behind us in this engagement,” he said. “We need to change the public perception that smoking is a matter of choice. We also need to be more creative in passing our messages and in developing policies about the matter.”

Later, Osinbajo said the presidency would provide all the support that was needed to ensure that tobacco control laws and policies were effectively implemented in Nigeria.

And he charged the NGOs to work more closely with young people so as to ensure that under-age initiation into smoking was reduced.

Meanwhile, the leader of the delegation, Akinbode Oluwafemi, deputy director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria urged the government to provide all the necessary support for the effective implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015. “We want the federal government to demonstrate that the era of impunity is over by bringing all tobacco companies flouting our laws to justice,’’ he said.

And Hilda Ochefu of the Washington-based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids expressed the readiness of her organization and other international NGOs to support Nigeria in implementing ‘effective tax policies for the tobacco industry’.

Category: Breaking News

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