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