2% of men’s deaths annually in Nigeria is due to tobacco. Some people have opined that the death of the ace journalist and compere extraordinaire is as a result of smoking and I wonder if truly he was one of the men who lost their lives in 2008 to smoking when he passed away at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.A.
The much loved and highly esteemed father of three was diagnosed with cancer and received treatments in Nigeria and the U.K. before proceeding to the U.S.A for a Stem Cell transplant. According to the official statement released by his family and signed by his son, Dr. Olamide Craig, he gave in to the hands of death as a result of complications from the procedure.
When his death was announced on one of the popular social media site in Nigeria, nairaland.com on September 23, 2008, the forum members expressed shock and grief over the issue but some did not hold back their opinion on what they think could have led to the death of this amiable Nigerian.
Jassie wrote: “Hmm! what a tragic loss! See how cigarettes dey kill human resources! I pity smokers o! I remember when someone called him on NTA A.M Express sometime ago and complained about his past smoking attitude!”
Cescky posted this in response to the sad announcement: “OMG may his soul RIP na wah ooo smokers in the house one tragedy shld be enuuf for the ear”
Also, at a training programme for health reporters on cancer reporting which held in 2009, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth noted that renowned journalists in the country like Steve Kadiri, Yinka Craig, Momoh Kubanji, Tina Onwudinwe and Beko Ransome Kuti lost their lives due to the health hazards associated with the consumption of cigarettes.
I can’t say if Nigeria’s dearly beloved Yinka Craig died as a result of a smoking habit but we owe it to our children and children’s children to rigorously support every effort that will ensure stringent tobacco control in Nigeria.
*You can start by following Tobacco Control NG @TobaccoCtrl on Twitter.