Lagos House Applauded Over Smoking Law

The recent passage into law of the Lagos State Public Place Smoking Bill has drawn commendation from British American Tobacco Nigeria which described the Law as balanced.
The organisation praised the new law for accommodating the views of all stakeholders whilst also maintaining its responsibility to protect the citizens of Lagos State from the effects of second hand smoking.
The Public Place Smoking Law, which was passed by the Lagos State House Assembly on January 20, has been sent to the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, for assent.
Commenting on the new law, the Head of Regulatory Affairs of British American Tobacco, Sola Dosunmu, welcomed  its passage, saying it  expressly seeks to protect the non-smoking public from tobacco smoke and also guarantees the adult cigarette smokers’ right to continue to enjoy the smoking of a legal product in private places, open places and in other designated smoking areas.
Speaking further, he said, “We have studied the law and we particularly like the fact that it is not excessive or discriminatory.
“It is balanced and respects choices. He also praised the Lagos State House of Assembly for taking on board the views of the owners of Hotels, Bar, Lounges and Café owners who advocated for the inclusion of designated smoking areas in the Law.
“Also commendable was the introduction of 6-month grace period for these owners to implement any changes envisaged under the new Law as to do otherwise would have crippled their businesses even though a 12-month grace period was more realistic and in tune with international standards.
“Speaking further, Mr. Dosunmu debunked the insinuation that the tobacco industry was opposed to the passage of the law, saying the industry had rather  always advocated the passage of balanced, evidenced led and workable Laws.
This he opined, the Lagos State House of Assembly has to a large extent achieved by the passage of law.
The law stipulates the penalties for smoking in a “no-smoking area” at N10, 000 fine or imprisonment for a term not less than one month and not exceeding three months or both.
The law also stipulates the penalty for non-compliance by owner/occupier of a “no-smoking area” at N100, 000 or six-month imprisonment or other non-custodial punishments that the judge may deem fit.

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