Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Wish...

Its that time of the year again where people embark on long journeys, ditch their bosses for a while just so they can celebrate Christmas with family and friends. For many also, it's a season when there'll be plenty to eat & drink.

Growing up, as children, we would make Christmas wishes and we always got excited when they are fulfilled. However, for some people, Christmas brought no respite from the everyday challenges they faced as it was just another day amongst many and as a result, some have inoculated ourselves from the pain so they do not have to go through the hassles of wishing for something they know will never come true.

Whatever class we belong, those who still have Christmas hopes or those who associate the season with unpleasant thoughts, our one wish this Christmas will be of value to everyone and it is that we see a smoke-free Nigeria emerge from the current status. As a nation with a varied number of health challenges including losing children at unripe ages, we see the emergence of a smoke-free Nigeria as a key contributor to ensuring our current high child mortality rate is reduced significantly.

If you are a mom/mom-to-be that smokes or you know anyone that does, kindly consider or relay this information below and we believe that after this, you'll be able to help make our Christmas wish come true - 

How smoking affects your baby:

Weight and size

On average, a pack-a-day habit during pregnancy will shave about a half-pound from a baby's birth weight. Smoking two packs a day throughout your pregnancy could make your baby a full pound or more lighter. While some women may welcome the prospect of delivering a smaller baby, stunting a baby's growth in the womb can have negative consequences that last a lifetime.

Body and lungs
Undersize babies tend to have underdeveloped bodies. Their lungs may not be ready to work on their own, which means they may spend their first days or weeks attached to a respirator. After they're breathing on their own (or even if they did from the start), these babies may have continuing breathing problems — because of delayed lung development or other adverse effects of nicotine. Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are especially vulnerable to asthma, and have double or even triple the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Babies whose mother smoked in the first trimester of pregnancy are more likely to have a heart defect at birth.

Researchers analyzed data on 2,525 babies who had heart defects at birth and 3,435 healthy babies born in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., between 1981 and 1989.

Brain function
Smoking during pregnancy can have lifelong effects on your baby's brain. Children of pregnant smokers are especially likely to have learning disorders, behavioral problems, and relatively low IQs. 

In summary, we're saying is stop smoking and if you don't smoke, help someone to stop and let's make it possible for our children to live in a smoke-free Nigeria. 

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Keep it OUT!

Kick It OUT!

Just yesterday, a friend relayed a story to me that was mind-blowing yet sad. He was in the UK and the weather was cold, wind chilly as everyone sought ways to keep warm by covering up as much as possible. As he boarded the bus, a sight caught his attention. It was that of a young family with a husband and his wife were walking with their baby. As the guy was doing the pushing of the buggy, he was reminded how times have changed indeed with men more involved in rearing their kids beyond just providing keep-money. Since the wife was free of 'hand-baggage', he took a second look only to find a shocking sight - She was puffing away.

He told me a myriad of questions went through his mind wondering 'Is she aware of the dangers of smoking to her baby? How often does she smoke daily? Is her husband aware of the harmful effects of smoking for children? Is her doctor aware she smokes? Has she been warned by any medical personnel? Is she just choosing to ignore the consequences? Surely, she can sacrifice for her child, right?

Refusing to believe or accept that the lady in question is a bad mother, his thoughts were on how far-reaching the damage she is causing not just to herself but her baby and spouse too is. It seemed the classic case of shooting oneself in the foot and blaming others.

Researchers in the UK recently analysed three existing studies from New Zealand, Cardiff and the United States and published the result in a medical journal, JAMA Psychiatry. The studies were focused on understanding conduct problems in children between ages four and they found a link between maternal smoking and behavioral disorders in children. There was also observed increase in level of disorder with increase in the amount of cigarettes smoked. 

Based on undeniable findings, they reached a conclusion that prenatal tobacco smoke exposure was contributing significantly to subsequent conduct disorder in children as they grow as its consequences were no longer restricted to prenatal risk but rather extend to the lifespan and affects the quality of life for countless individuals.

Infact, in another poll conducted by Pfizer asking smokers how they funded their smoking habits in tougher economic times, it was revealed that smoking parents were often more willing to reduce their child's quality of life than go without cigarettes. This is surely a lifestyle behaviour we do not want future generations to emulate. Lets keep smoking menace OUT of Nigeria.

We are on:
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How Parental Smoking Affects Kids

There’s plenty of data showing how harmful smoking can be, and that goes for both smokers and the people around them. Two studies published in Pediatrics point out the indirect yet harmful effects smoking can have. A study of paternal smoking in Hong Kong finds that children whose fathers smoke are heavier at seven and 11 years old than their counterparts who have non-smoking dads; and investigation of children in Britain and Brazil finds that moms who smoke may  trigger behavioral problems in their children.

In the Hong Kong study, researchers at the University of Hong Kong studied a unique cohort of six thousand five hundred & nineteen (6519) children born in 1997, for whom health records and information on household smoking was available. Among the cohort, more fathers than mothers lit up, and children of smoking fathers showed a greater change from average BMI charts than those whose fathers did not. 

Because fathers in the Chinese culture have a minimal role in diet and lifestyle choices of their children, the authors speculate that the fathers’ cigarette habit affect their children’s obesity via biological mechanisms, through second hand exposure.

The second study, led by Marie-Jo Brion at the University of Bristol, aimed to adjust for all of the usual factors that might influence children’s mental and social health states—these included factors such as depression in the parents, parental education, the family’s social status and income, and parental alcohol consumption. 

By comparing two populations—a middle class group in Britain and a lower income group in Brazil, where smoking rates are generally higher—the researchers also hoped to isolate smoking effects that are independent of socioeconomic status. If the effect of lighting up persisted in both groups, they surmised, then it would suggest a stronger potential causal relationship.

In the end, mother’s smoking increased by an average of 53% the risk that children in both populations would be aggressive, break rules, bully, cheat or otherwise display disobedient behavior, compared to kids of non-smoking moms. 

The effect of paternal smoking was nearly half that of maternal smoking, which leads the researchers to conclude that smoking’s effect on behavior is occurring during pregnancy. Among both groups, an average of 18% of mothers continued to smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day during pregnancy, despite public health messages warning about the potentially harmful effects of the habit on the growing fetus.

Other studies have shown that while there are many factors important in delaying or preventing daily smoking, the biggest enabler to children initiating smoking is parental smoking as "It really is a matter of 'do as I do' not 'do as I say' when it comes to smoking."

We are therefore urging all Nigerian parents to join and support the Tobacco Control Campaign in Nigeria to save themselves, their children & children's children from the smoking scourge.

We are on:
- Twitter: @TobaccoCtrl
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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Calling on all Nigerian Mothers

A few weeks ago, I was driving back home in Abuja and came across a sight I have not seen too often in a while. There was a man driving beside me as we came to a roundabout. His passengers were all kids about five in number. I noticed one of driver's hands was outside the car and took a second look to discover he had a lit cigarette in it. 

Before we headed in different directions, I did see him take a puff and asked myself many questions ranging from 'Is this man the father of the children? Does he know the harmful effects of smoking on himself and/or children? How long has he smoked for? Could this man not wait to get to his destination before taking a puff privately? Does he do this regularly i.e. have children in the car while he smokes? Is his wife and/or mother of the kids aware he smokes with the kids in the car?'

Indeed, many questions but little opportunity to hear from the horse's mouth. The incident also left me wondering how many adults across Nigeria are taking a ride, smoking with kids in the car with the windows open or closed.

Thus, this brings to sharp focus the level of awareness parents in the country have about smoking, its addictive powers, its harmful effects on children & its influence on their future lifestyle choice of being smokers or not. There is statistical data that proves parents who smoke cause many health problems for their children, some of these include making asthma worse, bringing on more colds and ear infections, and increasing the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Also, studies show older children whose parents (one or both) smoke get sick more often as second-hand smoke (ShS) can cause serious health problems for children as breathing shs is almost like your child smokes herself. Therefore, exposing your child to shs ensures s/he comes in contact with the dangerous chemicals cigars, pipes & cigarettes are known to contain.

Even parents who smoke but do so outside do not fully protect their children from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke as its residue stays on walls, floors, furniture, toys, and clothes long afterwards.

On their own, parents can help protect their children from secondhand smoke (shs) by taking the following actions:
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke near your child.
  • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke in your home or car. Opening a window does not protect your children from smoke.
  • Use a smoke-free day care center.
  • Do not take your child to restaurants or other indoor public places that allow smoking.
  • Teach children to stay away from secondhand smoke.

It is commonly said when you train a girl child, we have trained a generation. So, in recognition of the pivotal role mothers play in raising children, we wish to draw attention to their understanding of the smoking prevalence in Nigeria.

The current situation calls for all hands on deck as we seek to nip the bud a growing trend of teenagers and other young people becoming smokers while we increase awareness amongst adults of the negative impact their smoking habit has on children nation-wide.

Mothers, lets support the tobacco control cause in Nigeria so we can have a smoke-free Nigeria NOW.!

Join us on:
- Twitter: @TobaccoCtrl
- Facebook: Visit and like Tobaccoctrl
- Google Plus: add Tobaccoctrl to your circle
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Do the needful

I hope no one gets to mix this up with a certain story that ruled the airwaves for weeks sometime October 2013. As a country, Nigerians are one of the most 'aware' people with much debate on various issues of interest going on from places like the National Assembly to that viewing center just around your neighborhood.

Infact, some people insist that we talk too much and do little thereafter. Such persons usually have a list they reel off to back their perspective that the average Nigerian citizen loves to talk but is reluctant to act upon his/her opinions rather content with just talking.

I do not know about you but I disagree with these viewpoint as it seems more a case of people not been sure how they can constructively act upon their beliefs on social matters. This is not the case though with the ongoing Tobacco Control Project using Social Media that seeks to give citizens the platform to add their voice and influence what laws are made in Nigeria for the benefit of everyone.

As a policy change and public health campaign project, the objective is use Social Media that a lot of Nigerians are active on to advance tobacco control and support the passage of a comprehensive domestic Tobacco Control (TC) law compliant with the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), to which Nigeria is a signatory.

Officially launched in August 2013, the project on November 1, 2013 published a petition online  (though its also available offline) seeking to aggregate signatures from Nigerians attesting to the need for a Tobacco Control Bill to be passed in Nigeria NOW!

So far, over three thousand (3000+) persons have appended their signatures both online & offline and we would like to celebrate everyone who has participated till date. However, it is important to note that signature collection continues until November 30, 2013 so we have got just over seventy-two (72) hours to get YOU and YOUR CONTACTS to do the needful!

Therefore, we are calling on Nigerians both home & abroad who have signed and others yet to append their signatures to;

1) Sign the petition here ( and/or share your signature status on social media i.e. facebook & twitter.
2) Encourage friends, family & colleagues to add their voice to the Tobacco Control cause by signing the petition
3) Visit, like and/or follow us via our various social media platforms  (please see end of this post) while sharing our content with others.

Lets do the needful for a smoke-free Nigeria to emerge!

We are on:
- Twitter: @TobaccoCtrl
- Facebook: Visit and like Tobaccoctrl
- Google Plus: add Tobaccoctrl to your circle
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Our cry for Tobacco cessation in Nigeria

Cigarettes have been the best-selling type of tobacco product for generations. As a result of their widespread use and the resulting catastrophic public health consequences, including causing more than 443,000 deaths annually, cigarettes have been the main focus of public health regulation and community education efforts designed to prevent tobacco initiation and encourage cessation. Cigarette regulation and education began in earnest after the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, and became more prevalent after several Attorney-Generals brought suit against cigarette and smokeless tobacco manufacturers in the late 1990s in the United States.

The resulting Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), Smokeless Master Settlement Agreement (SMSA) and four individual state settlements drove up cigarette prices, imposed restrictions on marketing to youth and sent a strong public message about the hazards of smoking. It also raised awareness about the cigarette manufacturers’ manipulation of scientific data and tobacco products.

Decades of deception by the tobacco industry prompted this action by the Attorney- Generals, who alleged that the industry manipulated data and successfully pressured scientists to hide the true risks associated with smoking, including controlling what information was made available to the public manipulating the tobacco plant itself in order to increase the level of nicotine and make tobacco more addictive; and manipulating the design and manufacture of cigarettes to assure the most effective delivery of this addictive component.

These allegations were proven by the federal government in U.S. v. Philip Morris when a federal court found that the major cigarette manufacturers violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

As a result of five decades of increasingly stringent regulation and effective education, mostly at the state and local level, cigarette sales have declined steadily in the US specifically. However, proving their business savvy, cigarette manufacturers have been adding to their product lines with novel tobacco products designed to escape the more effective regulations applicable to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Other businesses have also entered the market with their new, non-cigarette tobacco products. As sales of these products increase and the public continues to be exposed to the harm that they cause, the need for regulation and public health education becomes critical.

Some non-cigarette tobacco products, such as cigars and “little cigars,” have an established presence in the marketplace and have enjoyed steady or increasing sales as cigarette sales decline. Emerging tobacco products, such as dissolvable tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and hookah, enter the market unencumbered by restrictions designed to limit the enticement of youth, reduce youth access or deter adult consumption. Yet all of these products present the same threat of addiction and negative health consequences of cigarettes that requires action be taken by regulators in Nigeria.

The Health Minister has the power and ability to adopt comprehensive regulations that would have a positive impact on public health throughout Nigeria and must take action now because delay or inaction provides the tobacco industry with wide reign in designing, marketing and selling tobacco products that entice and addict young Nigerians through many of the tactics long-forbidden with respect to cigarettes.

We therefore urge you to sign our petition here and take a stand to drastically reduce the use of tobacco products across the country.

Link up with us on the following social media platforms:
- Twitter: Follow @TobaccoCtrl
- Facebook: Visit and like Tobaccoctrl
- Google Plus: add Tobaccoctrl to your circle

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Monday, November 18, 2013



Abuja, Nigeria                                                    

Tobacco Control (TC) Celebrity Cause Champions, Fela Durotoye, Stella Damasus and Atom Lim lent their voice to the Tobacco Control (TC) cause by appending their signature to the ongoing petition addressed to the Hon. Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu and encouraging him in his commitment and quest to pass a comprehensive Tobacco Control Bill in Nigeria.

The CCCs have shared their signing of the petition on their social media platforms and encourage other citizens to do the same. The campaign canvassing for Nigerians to sign the petition is ongoing and continues throughout  the month of November 2013 as we advocate for more citizens to append their name to this worthy cause NOW! The petition can be signed on

The Tobacco Control Nigeria is a policy change and public health campaign project using Social Media to advance tobacco control and support the passage of a comprehensive domestic Tobacco Control (TC) law compliant with the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), to which Nigeria is a signatory. Thus, the petition seeks to collate signatures of Nigerians across the country seeking follow-up actiono to public utterances made in May & July 2013 both by the President, Goodluck Ebere Jonathan and the Hon. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu on making Nigeria smoke-free and reducing the smoking prevalence in the country.

Follow  @SRMAfrica

For more information about the Tobacco Control Campaign Project, please visit
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2go: Tobaccoctrl 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Join the Chorus

Many Nigerians are unaware of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke (shs) which accounts for an alarming one in ten tobacco-related deaths globally. If you don’t smoke, chances are that you know someone who does, or you are exposed to secondhand smoke somehow e.g. visiting public places like hotels, offices amongst others. It is noteworthy that tobacco use kills five million people in the world each year- a statistics greater than that of deaths resulting from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

The Health Minister’s failure to regulate some products like tobacco can lead consumers to think that the unregulated products are safer than other products because they are manufactured, advertised, marketed, sold and distributed in ways that cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are not.

This problem is exacerbated by the tobacco industry’s efforts to develop new products that exploit regulatory loopholes and to acquire established businesses that manufacture and distribute novel products. As the tobacco industry diversifies its product lines, it continues to design and market its products to create and sustain nicotine addiction.

It is not a coincidence that as the rate of cigarette smoking decreases, the rate of using other tobacco products such as cigars, dissolvables, e-cigarettes, hookah etc increases. This is troubling based on the known damages caused by many of these products and the potential adverse health consequences of other tobacco products, both to individual users and at the population level.

While cigar smoking in the Nigeria was historically a behavior of older men, cigar smoking is now a behavior that skews younger, with young adults (age 18–24) smoking cigars at a significantly higher rate (15.9%) than adults age 25–44 (7.2%), age 45–64 (4.9%), and age 65 or older (1.8%).

Approximately 13.1 percent of high school students are current cigar smokers, while 6.6 percent of adults regularly use cigars. The Health Minister must assert jurisdiction over and regulate all tobacco products to protect the public health. The scientific evidence regarding the prevalence of the use of these products and the data regarding the harm that these products cause makes the case for this regulation.

There is no reasonable justification to continue to allow so many tobacco products to go unregulated at the federal and state level considering the harm that they pose and the specific and broad authority possessed by the Ministry.

The Federal Ministry of Health should fulfill its mandate of protecting the public health by asserting jurisdiction over and regulating all tobacco products.

We hope you will add your voice to the chorus urging the Health Minister to act now. Seize the opportunity to make your voice heard in this good cause as we urge you to sign our petition here  taking a stand to drastically reduce the use of tobacco products across the country.

Link up with us on the following social media platforms:
- Twitter: Follow @TobaccoCtrl
- Facebook: Visit and like Tobaccoctrl
- Google Plus: add Tobaccoctrl to your circle

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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Let Your Voice be Heard!

Intense warnings over the past 30 years about the hazards of tobacco have diminished but not curtailed its use. One in six of our nation’s children risk becoming regular smokers and one-quarter of them or five million individuals will die unnecessarily from their addiction. Studies have shown that after trying to quit for over a year, 95% of teenagers give up and start smoking again. It is easier to avoid tobacco altogether than it is to quit once you have started smoking.

Therefore, it is surprising that even though tobacco is responsible for 30% of all cancers and is the leading cause of preventable death in Nigeria, there is not yet a comprehensive bill that adequately regulates the tobacco industry in the interest of Nigerians.

A large proportion of these deaths are caused by respiratory diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung cancer. 70% of smokers start before the age of 18 and 94% before the age of 25 years, when lung damage already begins. The proposed Tobacco Control Bill contains measures to prevent children and young people from picking up their first cigarettes as even today, cigarettes kill more people than road accidents, AIDS, drugs, alcoholism, fires, murders, and suicides combined. While we are fighting the scourge, the tobacco industry is working overtime to attract youths. This must stop!

The Social Media Campaign on Tobacco Control in Nigeria invites everyone to sign its petition to encourage the Honourable Minister of Health in his Commitment to pass comprehensive tobacco control legislation in Nigeria.

Seize the opportunity to make your voice heard in this good cause as we urge that you join us by signing our petition here  taking a stand to drastically reduce the use of tobacco products across the country.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Your active participation in a A Smoke-Free Nigeria

There are currently no national restrictions on the advertising and promotion of tobacco use in Nigeria yet it is proven that advertising increases tobacco consumption globally. Young people are particularly vulnerable to it and are regarded as the main target of brand stretching via these promotions and advertisements. Evidence shows that comprehensive advertising bans lead to reductions in the numbers of people starting (i.e. new smokers) and continuing smoking.

Statistics show that banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco demand and thus a tobacco control “best buy”. However, most countries including Nigeria lack comprehensive laws governing the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Despite the effectiveness of comprehensive tobacco control laws, only 6% of the world’s population was fully protected from exposure to the tobacco industry advertising, promotion and sponsorship tactics in 2010 (WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2011). If we do not change the way tobacco companies operate in Nigeria, it will be difficult to make the necessary progress towards battling the harmful effects of tobacco products to Nigerians.

Now, as a nation, Nigeria faces a wide range of issues that need attention central of which is the health of her citizens as the saying goes 'Health is wealth.' The sheer number of citizens' death that is preventable presents a challenge for which solution is within our grasp. Tobacco & its products is the leading cause of preventable deaths globally.

Having outlined our position since the beginning of October by calling on the Hon. Minister of Health to lead the way by submitting the draft bill on Tobacco Control in Nigeria to FEC, we will be matching action with words and urge YOU to join us in this cause.

In Nov 2013, a petition addressed to Hon. Minister of Health will be made public for Nigerian to append their signatures to. This petition will be published online and we along with other partners involved in the 'Social Media Campaign on Tobacco Control Project' will be massively canvassing for Nigerians at home & abroad to add their voice to this cause by signing the petition and sharing their actions with others as well.

It is critical that on this issue of national importance, we match action with words as citizens who are ready to facilitate change in the country. We know there is no magic wand to solve every single challenge we face but step by step, action by action, together, we can make a difference by becoming part of the change we want to see

Discussions are important to clarifying any issue and itemizing a road map but the change process has other loops apart from talk. This is where actions are taken to facilitate the actualization of set goal of a smoke-free Nigeria. Your participation in this must be active contributing in talks but also partaking in followup actions as citizens with a stake in the well-being of our country. JOIN US!!!

Link up with us on the following social media platforms:
- Twitter: Follow @TobaccoCtrl
- Facebook: Visit and like Tobaccoctrl
- Google Plus: add Tobaccoctrl to your circle

- 2go: add Tobaccoctrl

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Smokers are liable to die young

The above is a quote, made popular in the late 90s from TV adverts and now usually written on labels of cigarette and tobacco packs to discourage smokers from the habit. You might even remember it from tv adverts late in the 90s but really, how many smokers take note of that before puffing one into their system.

Recently the World- No-Tobacco-Day (WNTD) was held in different parts of the world including Nigeria which again brought to the forefront the need to seriously address long-standing issue of smoking and its health implications among the youths and adults in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, the anti-tobacco communities led advocacy efforts from the forefront towards ensuring public places across the country are designated as smoke-free zones. Over 40 civil society groups, legal practitioners and public health advocates stormed the Senate Hearing Room of the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, on July 21 and 22 to present their memorandum in support of the National Tobacco Control Bill, NTCB 2009. 

The Nigeria National Tobacco Control Bill is a comprehensive law when passed will regulate the manufacturing, advertising distribution and consumption of tobacco products in Nigeria. It is a bill that is aimed at domesticating the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) because Nigeria is a party to that international convention. The keys highlights of the bill are prohibition of smoking in public places; to include restaurant and bar, public transportation, schools, hospitals etc. A ban on all forms of direct and indirect advertising, prohibition of sales of cigarette 1000-meter radius of areas designated as non-smoking, mass awareness about the danger of smoking as well as the formation of committee that will guide government on the issue of tobacco control in the country.

The Minister of health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu himself revealed that Nigeria will ban smoking in the country as soon as the anti-tobacco bill that is currently before the lawmakers is passed into law. According to him, the government decided there is strong reason to send the bill to the National Assembly because of the realization of the dangers inherent in continual cigarette smoking.

 “Why are you smoking? Why are you taking what will kill you? What benefit do you derive from smoking?” the minister asked rhetorically. He further said that the Nigerian government has decided to take drastic actions in the fight against smoking in Nigeria. But as of today, nothing has been done to effect these promises!

We are still appealing to the Hon. Minister for Health to fulfill his promises by finishing the task assigned to his team by leading the charge in ensuring the draft bill is presented to the FEC without delay and approved so it can move onto consideration by the Senate & House of Representatives. This is our CLARION CALL!

To join us in making this strong appeal to the Hon. Minister of Health, add your voice by visiting his facebook page, like our post, drop your comments and share widely with others. Let’s help make Nigeria a SMOKE-FREE zone TODAY! 

You should also actively participate in the discussions presently ongoing on the following social media platforms:
- Twitter: Follow @TobaccoCtrl
- Facebook: Visit and like Tobaccoctrl
- Google Plus: add Tobaccoctrl to your circle
- 2go: add Tobaccoctrl

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Calling on the Hon. Minister of Health

The 2009 World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Health Risks Report on analysing mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks shows over 6 million people die each year from health conditions associated with tobacco use. Infact, the 2011 WHO Report on the global tobacco epidemic states tobacco kills up to one-half of all its users.

The 2013 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) Nigeria Report shows at least 4.5 million Nigerian adults aged 15 years or older used tobacco products in 2012 while an estimated 2.7 million adults who worked indoors had been exposed to secondhand smoke in their workplaces, with 5.2 million adults in Nigeria were said to be exposed to secondhand smoke at home.

On the African continent, nearly 70% of students between the ages of 13-15 were able to buy cigarettes in a store despite their age. This is not a pretty picture and calls for prompt attention! Surely, Nigeria as an African giant should lead the charge to safeguard her future leaders and follow words with action as an FCTC signatory.

On Saturday 13th July 2013 when Nigeria officially released her Global Adult Tobacco Survey result to the public, The President, who was represented by the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said:  “If you smoke, chew or sniff tobacco or engage in all of them, please quit! Your doctor and health providers can help you break the habit. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. I appeal to health professionals to help their smoking patients quit, and be role models who promote tobacco-free lifestyles.

Speaking further, the Hon. Minister added: “On my part, I promise that I would do all in my power to ensure that the revised but stiffer anti-tobacco bill which will soon be presented to the Federal Executive Council becomes law."

It is sad to note that till now, nothing has been done about this as the Hon. Minister is yet to match words with action! Our Concern is that a lot of young people (i.e. teenagers and children) now have access to and have become addicted users of tobacco in the country. Tobacco use has been established to be the entry point for drugs usage and addiction, and since we take the position that “Smokers are victims and are not bad people, we have a responsibility to educate them and urge them to quit.”

The good news is that Nigeria now has the opportunity to prevent the initiation of her future workforce into this addiction chamber and avoid the social and economic burden that tobacco use has been proven to cause by passing and implementing a comprehensive set of tobacco control policies and legislation.

We are therefore appealing YET AGAIN to the Hon. Minister for Health to finish the task assigned to his team by leading the charge in ensuring the draft bill is presented to the FEC without delay and approved so it can move onto consideration by the Senate & House of Representatives. This is our CLARION CALL!

To join us in making this strong appeal to the Hon. Minister of Health, add your voice by visiting his facebook page, like our post, drop your comments and share widely with others. Let’s help make Nigeria a SMOKE-FREE zone TODAY

You should also actively participate in the discussions presently ongoing on the following social media platforms:
- Twitter: Follow @TobaccoCtrl
- Facebook: Visit and like Tobaccoctrl
- Google Plus: add Tobaccoctrl to your circle
- 2go: add Tobaccoctrl