The Nigerian government, on Monday, June 4,
declared the banning of the use of flavoured
tobacco, especially shisha, in public places, and
directed security agencies to arrest anyone found
inhaling the substance.
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.
According to New Telegraph, the minister who spoke during the
event with the theme, ‘Tobacco Breaks the Heart Choose Health,
Not Tobacco’, explained that evidence has shown that for every
$1 gain from tobacco business about $3 was expended on
healthcare cost.

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
“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
“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.

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“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
“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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