As the world marks this year’s World No Tobacco Day, Nigeria’s Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, has announced nine regulations in the Nigeria Tobacco Control Act that would be implemented by the federal government.
The National Tobacco Control Act was signed into law in 2015 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The theme for this year’s event, ‘Tobacco: A Threat to Development,’ aims at highlighting the link between tobacco use and development as well as show that tobacco control can break the cycle of poverty, contribute to ending hunger, promote sustainable agriculture and economic growth, and combat climate change.
Ahead of this year’s celebration, the World Health Organization revealed that tobacco kills over seven million people annually, and is an increasing risk factor in non-communicable (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, cancers and chronic obstructed pulmonary disease.
Earlier Mr. Adewole, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, had told PREMIUM TIMES that the implementation of the tobacco control Act had been slow because the draft Regulations need the National Assembly approval.
Below are the regulations listed by the minister to be implemented:
1. Prohibition of the sale of tobacco products to and by anyone below age 18.
2. Ban of sale of cigarettes in single sticks; cigarettes must be sold in packs of 20 sticks only.
3. Smokeless tobacco shall be sold in a minimum of a pack of 30 grammes.
4. Ban of sale or offer for sale or distribution of tobacco or tobacco products through mail, internet, or other online devices.
5. Prohibition of interference of tobacco industry in public health and related issues.
6. Prohibition of smoking in anywhere on the premises of a child care facility, educational facility, and healthcare facility. Other prohibited for smoking include playgrounds, amusement parks, plazas, public parks, stadia, public transport, restaurants’ bar, and other public gathering spaces.
7. 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.
8. Prohibition of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship of any kind.
9. Compliance with specified standards for content.