Anti-tobacco Bill passes second reading at Nigeria’s House of Reps

Cigarette smoking
A person smoking used to illustrate the story.

The lawmakers unanimously adopted the bill.

A bill on tobacco control passed its second reading at the House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja.

Leading debate on the general principles of the bill, Yakub Alebiosu (ACN-Lagos), said the bill provides a legal framework for the control of tobacco.

According to him, the bill will ensure safety of lives of all Nigerians wherever they may be.

The lawmaker said that the bill would prohibit smoking in public places, if passed.

He said further that the bill would also ensure that the under-aged would not be able to buy tobacco at will.

Mr. Alebiosu said the bill would also protect the health of people who do not smoke tobacco, maintaining that it would also indicate areas of restrictions for smoking tobacco.

He noted that the bill had also prescribed penalties and fines for offenders.

In his contribution, Sekonte Davis (PDP-Rivers), said that the bill would ensure that under-aged children were disallowed access to tobacco over the counter.

In his submission, Femi Gbajabiamila (ACN- Lagos), said that the bill would also address the trend of habitual smoking as well as ensuring that non-smokers were protected.

The Minority Leader urged his colleagues to give their full support to the passage of the bill in order to protect Nigerians against its health hazards.

The Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, referred it to the Committees on Health, and Justice for further legislative inputs after it was unanimously adopted.

The bill seeks to regulate the production, importation, advertising and promotion of tobacco in Nigeria.

It also seeks to regulate sponsorship, promotion, distribution, sale and designation of areas where tobacco products may and may not be smoked.

 

(NAN)


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  • Omo Akin

    This effort is laudable. I will only request that the House hold public hearings so that citizens can make input. For example, what is the definition of a public place? Will a person smoking in front of a house or on the street be charged for smoking in a public? I ask this question because smoking outside is less dangerous to the non-smokers around than smoking in an enclosed place like inside the home. If what is sought to be achieved is better health for the general citizenry, ban on smoking in public places should be limited to enclosed public places such as stadia, cinema, restaurants, and of course in all Govt buildings.
    I do not smoke. I am concerned about children who would be subjected to the second-hand smoke of the parents and other adults when the parents and the other adults have to smoke only in their home.