Tobacco: Nigeria Has 9 Million Daily Smoker – CISLAC
By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy (CSLA), has expressed worries over the increasing rate of tobacco smokers in Nigeria.
According to CISLAC, Nigeria currently has over 9 million people who smokes tobacco daily, that over 6 million die yearly worldwide, as a result of tobacco use related diseases, according to global report.
Presenting a paper during a one day Seminar for media practitioners in kaduna, Mr Okeke Anya, Senior Pragramme Officer of CSLA explained that, World Health Organization (WHO), after its recent discovering on increase rate of tobacco smoking prevalence globally and its health danger came up with a Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
Dr. Anyan noted that, the tobacco control act which was passed into law by both chambers of the National Assembly and assented to in May, 2015 by the former President Goodluck Jonathan is yet to have a policy that will regulate it’s implementation two years after its passage.
According to him, the FCTC is charged with the responsibility of making research on tobacco following the agreement by 192 members of states of the WHO, that tobacco smoking should be controlled in178 countries who are parties to the agreement to come up with an act to control tobacco use in all its member countries.
He further noted that, WHO research report revealed that almost one billion men, 250 million women are daily smokers and 1 in 10 death linked to tobacco use related diseases and that 8 million people globally are likely to die in 2030.
“Without more action by African Nations to discourage smoking, the percentage of smokers will rise from an average of 16 percent to 22 and possibly as high as 27 percent in 2030 in African”,
“If strong tobacco control policies including 100 percent tax increase are put in place, the smoking prevalence will decrease to 11 percent.” He added.
He therefore, called on the Nigerian government to see the need for a quick enactment of a Tobacco Control policy to regulate the full implementation of the act so as to provide for the safety of live Nigerian.
The act seek to protect Nigerians of the devastating consequences of use and exposure to tobacco and it’s products, such as prohibition of smoking in public places, sale or access to tobacco products to persons below 18 years of age, increase tax on tobacco product in Nigeria, encourage large, clear rotating health warnings and messages that cover 50 percent or more among others.