Senate Moves To Stop Tobacco Companies From Targetting School Children

Senate Moves To Stop Tobacco Companies From Targetting School Children

By Fidelis Yughur

Worried by the spate of adverts targeting teenage school children, Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) along with five other Senators have moved a motion to avert the deliberate ploy by tobacco companies to position tobacco adverts and signs within 100m of Schools to stimulate children and youths into early interest in the use of tobacco.

This reaction followed the report of the survey carried out by Nigerian Tobacco Research Group in five states across the four geo- political zones with the intention to stamp their product at the doorstep of teenagers to attract them into early consumption of the product.

The motion, according to Senator OluremiTinibu and the others, is to forestall and curtail the long term effect and damage done to the body of these teenagers consuming the product.

Recall that tobacco intake has been linked to lung cancer, myocardial infarction, chronic bronchitis and cardiovascular diseases, amongst others.

The Senate decried the manner at which tobacco companies are operating contrary to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the National Tobacco Control Act 2018, which is aimed at the prevention and substantial reduction of accessibility of tobacco and tobacco products to young people.

Determined to protect the Nigerian children from aggressive marketing strategies of profiteering tobacco companies and to cut down the excesses of such companies, in line with the National Tobacco Act, which was assented to in 2018, with sections that prohibit the sale of cigarettes to persons under 18 years of age, sale of cigarettes from a vending machine, sale of single sticks or packs of less than 20 sticks, prohibits advertisement, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco products; bans smoking in schools, health facilities, playgrounds and public places, the Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant enforcement agencies to ensure that the comprehensive prohibition of Tobacco Advertising Promotion and Sponsorship, TAPS, such as cigarettes advertisement within and on windows, stores and kiosks, advertisement of smokeless or flavoured tobacco and tobacco logo/symbols on non-tobacco objects be stopped with immediate effect.

The motion also urged the Ministry of Health and Education both at federal and state levels to work together to ban advertisement and location of point of sales, POS, of tobacco products within 100m of all schools.

Similarly, the motion prayed the Senate to urge the Federal Ministry of health in conjunction with other relevant enforcement agencies to urgently establish a framework for the monitoring of the implementation of the ban on single sticks and cigarette packs with less than 20 sticks as detailed in the National Tobacco Control Act 2018, and to as a matter of urgency promote and advertise the ‘NO SALE’ of tobacco to minors signage.

The consumption of tobacco, according to the motion, has grave consequences to the health of the consumer as it is on record that at least eight million deaths occur annually as a result of tobacco consumption.

The Nigerian school children are advised to stay away from taking tobacco alongside with confectionaries purchased to deceive them into smoking trap of tobacco companies.

The motion was moved along with Senators Magnus Abe (Rivers South East), Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central), OlanrewajuA.Tejuoso (Ogun Central), BintaMasiGarba (Adamawa North), and Aliyu MagatarkardaWamakko (Sokoto North), and all the prayers were supported by members for the strict supervision of cigarette consumption by teenagers owing to its grave health risks.

Nigerian Online Newspaper=

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