CSO wants tobacco bill passed into law

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Habibu Umar Aminu and Chidimma C.Okeke

The Civil So­ci­ety Leg­isla­tive Ad­vo­cacy Cen­tre (CISLAC) has urged the Na­tional As­sem­bly to ex­pe­di­tiously pass the Na­tional Tobacco Con­trol Bill in view of the alarm­ing and in­creas­ing health haz­ards as­so­ci­ated with tobacco smok­ing in the coun­try.

The Se­nior Pro­gramme Of­fi­cer of CISLAC, Anya Okeke, said this dur­ing a visit to Daily Trust yes­ter­day.

He noted that tobacco use re­mains a ma­jor cause of dis­eases and pre­ma­ture deaths es­pe­cially among young people with as­so­ci­ated health im­pacts con­sti­tut­ing a fi­nan­cial bur­den on the el­derly.

Ac­cord­ing to World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO), tobacco us­age causes over five mil­lion deaths an­nu­ally with pro­jected mor­tal­ity rate of over 8 mil­lion per an­num by the year 2030 if noth­ing is ur­gently done to ad­dress the trend es­pe­cially in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries like Nigeria.

“It should be noted at the mo­ment that there are cur­rently no re­stric­tions on the ad­ver­tis­ing and pro­mo­tion of tobacco use in the coun­try, our pur­pose of visit is not just to high­light the ben­e­fits Nige­ri­ans stand to ben­e­fit from hav­ing a leg­is­la­tion on tobacco that is in line with in­ter­na­tional best prac­tices but also to forge a last­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with Daily Trust whom we have al­ways iden­ti­fied as de­vel­op­ment part­ners,’’ Okeke said.

He said in the sixth as­sem­bly the bill had passed sev­eral stages of leg­is­la­tion but could not see the light of the day say­ing that “it needs to be pushed be­cause of its tremen­dous ben­e­fit on the lives of the smok­ers and the non-smok­ers.”

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