BY DOYIN OJOSIPE,
The Federal Government yesterday said it would begin implementation of various prohibition laws guiding the use of Tobacco in the country before the end of 2017.
Speaking at the event to mark the World No Tobacco Day, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole said, Tobacco is the only approved drug that kills its users even when used as intended by its manufacturers.
Adewole also noted that the continuous use of Tobacco without regulation has affected the country’s economy through increased healthcare cost and decreased productivity, adding that it has also lead to house hold poverty as smokers will rather spend on tobacco than other matters that would help their lives progress.
The Minister also disclosed that the government would also explore the angle of increasing taxes and levies on Tobacco use so as to reduce its consumption and also generate income to finance developmental health programms.
Part of the regulation laws as disclosed by the Health Minister is; “Prohibition of sale of tobacco products to and by anyone below 18; ban of sale of cigarettes in single sticks. Cigarettes must be sold in packs of 20 sticks only.
Smokeless tobacco shall be sold in a minimum of a pack of 30 grams; ban of sale or offer for sale or distribution of tobacco or tobacco products through mail, internet or other online devices; prohibition of interference of tobacco industry in public health and related issues.
Adewole further said that smoking anywhere on the premises of a child care facility; educational facility; and health care facility is prohibited including smoking in places like playgrounds, amusement parks, plazas, public parks, stadium, public transports, restaurants, bars, or other public gathering spaces adding that there will be prosecution of owner or manager of any of the places listed above, who permits and or encourages or fails to stop smoking in the in such places.