By; Juliana Katung, Katung.
Going by the recent global report of 6 million people dying each year as result of tobacco use related diseases, the need for a quick passage of the Tobacco Control Act Regulations in Nigeria and full implementation of the provisions for safety of Nigerians lives has been stressed.
The Tobacco Control Act which was passed into law by both arms of the National Assembly and signed in May, 2015 by the former president GoodLuck Jonathan is yet to have a set regulation that will regulate its implementation two years after.
Speaking at a one day Seminar organized by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy (CSLA) for media practitioners in Kaduna, the Senior pragramme officer of the CSLA Mr Okeke Anya said World Health Organization (WHO) after its recent discovering of increase rate of tobacco smoking prevalence globally going by it health danger that related to its use, come up with a framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
According to him, the FCTC 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 and to date has 178 countries come with an act to control tobacco uses in all its member countries.
He noted that, WHO research report revealed that almost one billion men, 250 million women are daily smokers and one in ten 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 noted.
According to him, the implementation of the act which has the provisions that can successfully control tobacco smoking in Nigeria which have over 9 million smokers presently has already been delayed for two years and a minimum of 18 months have to be given to the tobacco company to change their packaging before its full implementation and there should not be further delay for safety of the young generation.
The act seek to protect Nigerians of the devastating consequences of use and exposure to tobacco and its 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.