As we approach 2015 with the end of the seventh session of Nigeria’s National Assembly in sight, the country lies at a unique crossroad facing a critical moment. A number of draft bills are undergoing deliberations & discussions that would hopefully be completed before the end of this session.
One of these bills at the verge of being passed into law is the National Tobacco Control Bill: a groundbreaking measure that could save the lives of millions of young Nigerians most especially children and pregnant women, over the coming decades from tobacco-related disease and death.
The bill, currently awaiting passage by the Senate and House of Assembly, contains critical provisions including smoke-free public spaces, graphic health warnings and a ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Nigeria once again has the opportunity to show in clear terms the health & wellbeing of her people is paramount. It’s time for Nigerian policymakers to re-evaluate their priorities and match their words with action as duly elected representatives of all Nigerians. For the swift passage of Nigeria’s National Tobacco Control Bill will demonstrate Nigerian policymakers are truly committed to saving lives and representing the interests of the public.
If passed, Nigeria’s National Tobacco Control Bill would protect millions of young Nigerians from the devastating fate a lifestyle of smoking and/or exposure to cigarette fumes will have on their health. Its provisions contain proven measures that will bring Nigeria in line with many of its international obligations under the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, also known as the global tobacco treaty, which has the potential to save 200 million lives when fully implemented. With these figures, the need for the TC bill is reinforced and we hope that our lawmakers would expedite the bill-making process securing passage of the bill seeing the effect it will have to the general public who are their constituents.
It is time for us as a Nation to stand our ground on this issue, we must put heads together towards ensuring that the lawmakers does what is right, even if it’s not for us right now, but for our unborn children, we must ensure that Nigeria is the cleanest and safest place to live in.
The House of Representatives will announce shortly the date for a public hearing on the draft Tobacco Control bill before it. We will be publishing WIDELY the full details of the hearing when released and urge you to PARTICIPATE in this by marking the date in your calendar and planning to attend so YOUR VOICE is added to the swelling number of citizens calling for a TC bill NOW. Please share the date with your friend & family too so they can LEND their VOICE as well.
Join Fela Durotoye and Stella Damasus to share information on Tobacco Control to ensure a comprehensive Tobacco control law is passed and signed into law by signing up to become a cause champion. Together we can protect the present and future generations from this preventable death now.