A group, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), has expressed displeasure with the continuous delay in the implementation of the regulations that would put a control on the use of tobacco products in the country.
The group expressed its concern yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, during a one-day South-South workshop for the media towards supporting effective tobacco control in Nigeria.
The event was organised in conjunction with the Rivers State chapter of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ and African Capacity Building Foundation.
Speaking at the workshop, the representative of the CISLAC, Mr. Okeke Anya regretted that the government was not doing much in the area of implementing the regulation that would place restrictions on the excessive use of tobacco in the country.
Anya stated that tobacco was not good for human consumption, noting that the passage of the law should have been swift.
Anya noted that a national act on tobacco control has been accented by the former President Goodluck Jonathan, and wondered why the regulations have not yet been passed.
He urged the National Assembly to revisit the process, adding that until the regulations were passed, the law would not be implementable.
“The government is not doing much about tobacco control in Nigeria. Although there is a national act that has been passed, but the regulations are not there, because the act requires the regulation to carry out the implementation.”
Anya urged the states to as a matter of urgency replicate the laws in order to regulate tobacco usage, adding that it would help in reducing the government’s expenditure on health.
“Beyond that, the issue around tobacco is a concurrent issue. Each state is supposed to pass its own tobacco control act. We have seen examples from Lagos, Ekiti and some other states that have passed their local laws on tobacco control.
“States should pass tobacco control laws. They need to also study the level of Global Adult Tobacco Survey that has been done for them to find out that more young females and males are getting involved in tobacco use.
“And the devastating health consequences of tobacco use are enormous. So, each state as a way of cutting its own health expenditure, should push towards the passage of strong tobacco control laws.”