FG goes tough on tobacco, vows imprisonment for those who smoke inside bars, restaurants

The government will also deal with owners or managers who permit, encourage or fail to stop smoking in public places.

We got this from Aso Rock.

1. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that worldwide, second-hand tobacco smoke is currently responsible for the deaths of about 600,000 people yearly, 80% of which occur in low-income and middle-income countries like Nigeria.

2. Smoking in public places is now banned in Nigeria. Section 9 of the Nigeria Tobacco Control Act 2015 stipulates that offenders, once convicted, are liable to a fine of not less than N50,000 or not less than six months’ imprisonment, or both.

3. Public places where smoking is prohibited by law in Nigeria include: Child Care Facilities, Educational Facilities, Health care Facilities, Playgrounds/ Amusement Parks, Public Parks (Gardens), Stadia, Restaurants/ Bars, Public Transportation and Plazas.

Never forget: Smoker will likely die before they should.

4. The Federal Ministry of Health is committed to the fight to ensure a Tobacco-Free Nigeria, and will in the weeks and months ahead actively collaborate with law enforcement agencies to ensure enforcement of the Act, and with the National Assembly to ensure that necessary supporting regulation is passed.

5. Apart from the ban on smoking in public places, the Federal Ministry of Health will also be enforcing the following bans:

a) Prohibition of the sale of tobacco products to and by anyone below the age of 18.

b) Ban of sale of cigarettes in single sticks. Cigarettes must be sold in packs of a minimum of 20 sticks only.

c) Smokeless tobacco shall be sold in a minimum of 30 grams.

d) Ban of sale or offer for sale or distribution of tobacco/ tobacco products through mail, internet or other online devices.

e) Prohibition of interference of tobacco industry in public health and related issues.

f) Prosecution of owners or managers who permit, encourage or fail to stop smoking in public gathering places.

g) Prohibition of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship of any kind in Nigeria.

h) Compliance with specified standards for content.

6. The Federal Ministry of Health has launched a Tobacco-Free Nigeria campaign to protect and promote Nigerian citizens’ right to health, life, physical integrity and safety by raising awareness on the dangers and burdens of second- hand tobacco usage.

7. The Campaign is supported by Cancer Society of Nigeria, World Health Organization (WHO), ONE Campaign, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Tobacco Free Kids Washington DC

8. The Tobacco-Free Nigeria Campaign is being promoted on social media with #ClearTheAir, a play-on-words that includes both educating, advocating for fresher air and eliminating indifference towards the dangers of second-hand smoke. Join the conversation today!

Watch a Livestream of the #ClearTheAir Campaign launch by the Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewole, in Abuja on Thursday June 15, 2017 facebook.com/TheAsoVilla/

Be part of the movement. Follow @tobaccofreeNG (Twitter), @tobaccofreeNG (Instagram), @FmohNigeria (Facebook), FmohNigeria (YouTube), @TheAsoVilla (Facebook) and @DigiCommsNG (Twitter)

Written by Rotimi Akinola

Nigeria is not a country. It's a mindset.

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