On 20/Aug/2013 / In Medical News
No fewer than 5.6 million Nigerians use tobacco products, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) report for last year has shown.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its last year’s Facts on tobacco use in the African Region, also said tobacco kills half of its users.
This, activists said, underscores the need for the National Tobacco Control Bill (NTCB) to regulate tobacco use in Nigeria.
But the bill has been rejected twice by the president.
It, however, has been returned to the legislature. But, would it end in the waste basket?
This and more questions took the front burner at a community/media forum organised by Environmental Right Action (ERA) and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).
ERA Executive Director, Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi said the number of people who have scancer-related diseases was overwhelming.
He added: “Tobacco use has compounded the health of the people. There are no benefits whatsoever for the government and people for allowing tobacco use to thrive in the country.”
Oluwafemi said the world was awaiting the executive bill on tobacco at the National Assembly.
Quoting the survey, he said: “Three million 100,000 adults smoke tobacco while 1.6 million use tobacco but without smoking it.”
He said the country should fulfill its obligation like the United States and Canada to achieve the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
Oluwafemi said strengthening the implementation of the framework was a big challenge in Africa, especially Nigeria, adding that it was crucial to develop comprehensive tobacco control legislation and build capacity for its effective enforcement.
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