While speaking at the 2018 World No Tobacco Day celebration, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, on Monday in Abuja, said the Federal Government has banned the use of flavoured tobacco, especially Shisha, in public places, and directed security agencies to arrest anyone found inhaling the substance.
Worried over the increasing rate of tobacco-related deaths in the country and the world in general, a work plan was developed and launched by the minister on the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act, which could be implemented by stakeholders before the approval of the NTC Regulations, to curb the use of tobacco products in the country.
“The work plan outlines education, enforcement and monitoring for compliance including the ban on sale of tobacco products to and by anyone below 18 years of age; ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship of any kind; ban on smoking in public places; and ban on sale of tobacco products in piecemeal quantity but in packs of 20 sticks for cigarettes or 30g for smokeless tobacco.
“The FMOH is also looking beyond the work plan as we are developing a comprehensive 5-year National Tobacco Control Strategic Plan that will provide the roadmap for complete tobacco control. In addition to this, the FMOH participated actively in the review of the Nigeria Industrial Standard for tobacco products convened by Standards Organisation of Nigeria in collaboration with Consumer Protection Council (CPC).
“A key outcome of this review was the ban on all characterizing flavours including the addition of menthol into tobacco products. This decision is to protect our children from getting enticed by flavoured tobacco products. Let me stress that the ban on tobacco products with characterizing flavours is still in place and the ban includes shisha because it has flavour. I therefore urge the CPC and the law enforcement agencies to intensify arrest of defaulters,” he said.
According to him, there were more than 1 billion smokers globally and more than 7 million people were killed annually by tobacco. Of this figure, he said more than 6 million die from direct tobacco use, and close to 900,000 die from exposure to second-hand smoke.
“Data from 2014 WHO – NCD Global Status Report showed that heart related diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease killed 38 million (68%) persons out of the 56 million global deaths recorded in 2012, and sadly, more than 40% of these deaths occurred before the age of 70 years. It is generally agreed that tobacco will kill more than 50% of its users when used exactly as recommended by its manufacturers.
“Globally there are more than 1 billion smokers, and more than 7 million people are killed by tobacco annually. Of this, more than 6 million die from direct tobacco use, and close to 900,000 from exposure to second-hand smoke. I must add that the low and middle income countries including Nigeria bear nearly 80% of the global burden.
“This indeed calls for increased awareness on the impact of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand tobacconpro on cardiovascular health,” he added.
Adewole who exposed plans of tobacco producing companies to hide under the guise of non-governmental organisations on a Smoke-Free World to partner with thee public to further project their businesses, advised Nigerians to be careful in entering into partnerships they weren’t sure of.
“May I inform you that we are not oblivious of the conscious efforts by the tobacco industry to project their business above the health of the public. In view of this we are duty-bound to protect Government Laws, Regulations and Policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with the WHO FCTC Article 5.3 and the NTC Act 2015. Recently, Philip Morris International (PMI) under the guise of the ‘Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’ is persuading the public to partner with the Foundation.
“May I caution in strong terms that all Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Academia, Professional bodies, Non-Governmental Organizations and members of the public not to accept support from or enter into partnership agreement with this Foundation or any tobacco industry or their front groups as this might lead to irreconcilable conflict of interest. If the tobacco industry means well they must stop manufacturing tobacco products,” he added.
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Illegal Abortions Responsible For Mysterious Deaths In Bauchi: State Govt
Bauchi State Government has revealed that the mysterious deaths recorded in the State has been as a result of illegal abortions.
An investigation carried out by the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has revealed that illegal abortion by unqualified medical practitioners is the cause of mysterious deaths in Azare and other local government areas in the northern part of the state.
According to reports, no fewer than 200 women have died in Bauchi as a result of this and there are projections that the number could be more at the end of the investigation.
The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this Friday, May 29, at an interactive session organized by the Bauchi State Public Health Media Network.
Mohammed said the deaths resulted from unwanted and unplanned pregnancies by both married and unmarried women of childbearing ages who, after becoming pregnant, visited quack health workers to terminate the pregnancies.
He said the lack of understanding of the importance of child spacing as well as ignorance of what to do with such pregnancies had become a major problem to family health in the state.
He emphasized the need for adequate sex education for the girl-child by parents, particularly mothers, to reduce unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing deaths from complications.
Ondo Govt Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin
The Ondo State Government has arraigned four men suspected to have killed Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
Recall that it was earlier reported that the Nigeria Police Force handed over the suspects to the State Government.
They are Lawal Mazaje from the Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Usman from Illela area of Sokoto State, and Auwal Abubakar from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State.
The suspects were arraigned on Friday by the government at a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure.
Lagos Govt To Shutdown Markets Violating Social Distancing Order
The Lagos State Government has threatened to shut down markets in the State violating the social distancing order.
The Corps Marshal, Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), Gbemisola Akinpelu, gave the warning on Monday at the Command Headquarters in the Oshodi area of the state.
In a statement issued by the Head, Public Affairs Unit of LAGESC, Adebayo Kehinde noted that the order is coming from the State Ministry of Environment.
He reiterated the commitment of the agency to monitor markets across the state to ensure that the directive of the government is being adhered to strictly.
He urged the traders to maintain environmental cleanliness around the markets and stop trading on road setbacks and drainage.
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