Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Government will ensure effective implementation of anti-tobacco laws and policies in the country.
Osinbajo made the promise at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while receiving leaders of anti-tobacco organisations in the country.
He hinted that government would be exploring strategies on how to reduce tobacco consumption.
“The presidency will give every support that is needed to ensure that tobacco control laws and policies are effectively implemented in Nigeria”, he assured.
The Vice President reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to the reduction of tobacco use among citizens particularly exposure of underage children to smoking.
He expressed dismay over inadequate information about the dangers of smoking “which has made it difficult to convince many to quit the dangerous habit.”
According to the Vice President, we need the public behind us in this engagement.
“We need to change the public’s perception that smoking is a matter of choice.
“We also need to be more creative in passing our messages and in developing policies, about the matter’’, he stated.
Osinbajo charged the organizations to work more closely with the youths to ensure that under-age initiation into smoking was reduced.
Leader of the delegation, Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi , urged the Federal Government to provide necessary support for the effective implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act (NTCA) 2015.
“We want the federal government to demonstrate that the era of impunity is over by bringing all tobacco companies flouting our laws to justice’’, he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Oluwafemi is the Deputy Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN).
Mrs Hilda Ochefu of Washington-based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK), expressed their readiness to support Nigeria in implementing effective tax policy for the tobacco industry. (NAN)