Nigerian government has announced the enforcement of ban on sale of cigarettes to persons under 18 years in Nigeria. The Minister of Health, Prof. Isa...
Nigerian government has announced the enforcement of ban on sale of cigarettes to persons under 18 years in Nigeria.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made the announcement on Wednesday in Abuja at a brief ceremony to mark the World No Tobacco Day, he read forth a report by World Health Organisation (WHO) that over 4.5 million Nigerians are addicted to smoking tobacco substances.
The minister suggested for an immediate implementation and enforcement of key sections of the 2015 National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act.
In his words: “Having carefully analysed the NTC Act 2015, I wish to announce with high sense of responsibility that government will begin implementing the following provisions;” Adewole said, as he listed the actions to be implemented as follows;
“Prohibition of sale of tobacco products to and by anyone below 18; ban of sale of cigarettes in single sticks. Cigarettes must be sold in packs of 20 sticks only; and smokeless tobacco shall be sold in a minimum of a pack of 30 grams.
“Ban of sale or offer for sale or distribution of tobacco or tobacco products through mail, internet or other online device; prohibition of interference of tobacco industry in public health and related issues; and Prohibition of smoking in anywhere on the premises of a child care facility; educational facility; and health care facility.
“Other prohibited places for smoking include playgrounds; amusement parks; plazas; public parks; stadium, public transports, restaurants, bars, or other public gathering spaces.”
He (the minister) also directed the“prosecution of owner or manager of any of the places listed above, who permits, encourages or fails to stop smoking in the above listed places; prohibition of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship of any kind; and compliance with specified standard for content as set out by Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
Mr. Adewole added that the country is currently making use of tobacco tax and levies as a source of financing the Universal Health Coverage agenda in the Muhammadu Buhari administration, which the present governing sector is well aware of, and if such law is going to be enforced the government will loose a great source of revenue so he suggested thus;
“Increasing taxes and levies on tobacco products can reduce its consumption and minimise its usage and generate revenue which can be used to finance universal health coverage and other developmental health programme,” he said.
Wondi Alemu the Who representative said that tobacco use is one of the most essential and predisposing elements for non-communicable diseases in the country.
If this ban is properly enforced and implemented, i wonder what some goons will do.