The Senate yesterday passed the Tobacco Control Bill to provide for the regulation, advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco or tobacco products in Nigeria.
The Bill was passed in the 6th Assembly but was not assented to by the president.
The objective of the new legislation is to ensure that Nigeria has a comprehensive tobacco law for effective regulation and control of production, manufacturing, sale, labeling, advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco and tobacco products in Nigeria.
Senator Chris Ngige (APC, Anambra), who led debate on the Bill said with the amendment, the Tobacco Smoking (control) Act, which was enacted in 1990, had been repealed and reenacted.
According to Ngige, “The protection of the present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke, stating the dangers of tobacco and limiting its use without unduly interfering with civil rights and liberties.”
He further said that “domesticate the World Health Organisation (WHO) framework convention on Tobacco Control, FCTC, and other related treaties that Nigeria is signatory to, promote and protect the population’s right to health, life, physical integrity, safe and healthy workplaces and other rights adversely impacted by tobacco smoke exposure”.
Deputy Senate President, Senate Ike Ekweremadu said: “The dangers associated with smoking cannot be over-emphasised and the tragedy here is that those at risk are not just who smoke but also those around them, their loved ones, their families, neighbours and friends.”