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Senate passes resolution seeking ban of tobacco products around schools

Senate passes resolution seeking ban of tobacco products around schools
February 06
19:47 2018

The Nigerian senate has passed a resolution seeking the ban on the sale of tobacco products around schools.

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In a statement, The Nigeria Tobacco Control Research Group (NTCRG) and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), commended the upper legislative chamber for passing the resolution.

The resolution was adopted on the floor of the senate on Tuesday.

The ministries of health, education and information, were urged to ensure the ban on advertisement and sales of tobacco within 100 meters of all schools in Nigeria, is implemented.

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The groups lauded Oluremi Tinubu, senator representing Lagos-central, for sponsoring the resolution.

According to the statement,  Tinubu expressed worries that there is a deliberate ploy by tobacco companies to position tobacco products, tobacco adverts and signs within 100m perimeter of schools to stimulate the interest of children and youth in the use of tobacco products.

She cited a recent survey carried out by NTCRG and ERA/FoEN across four geo-political zones titled: ‘Big Tobacco, Tiny Targets: Tobacco Companies Targeting of School Children in Nigeria’, documenting how tobacco products are sold at very close proximity to schools.

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The group said Tinubu “demonstrated uncommon courage at this point that tobacco addiction is becoming an endemic problem among the youth”.

The resolution also requested the ministry of health and other relevant enforcement agencies to ensure the “comprehensive prohibition of Tobacco Advertising Promotion and Sponsorship; work with other agencies to ban advertisement and location of Point of Sales (POS) of tobacco products within 100m of all schools; create 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, 2015.”

“We particularly applaud the the bold effort of the Senate, Senator Tinubu and other co-sponsors of this resolution,” Akindele Adebiyi, NTCRG coordinator, said.

“It is a giant step towards protecting our children from the deliberate marketing tactics of the tobacco companies aimed at luring our children to smoking. We want to plead with relevant agencies to put in place necessary mechanisms to ensure that this Resolution is given immediate attention and enforcement”.

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Akinbode Oluwafemi, deputy executive director of (ERA/FoEN), urged the three tiers of government to begin the enforcement of the provisions of the national tobacco act.

“This is a call to action by Senator Remi Tinubu and we expect local governments, state governments and all relevant government agencies to wake up from their slumber and begin full enforcement of the National Tobacco Act and this Resolution,” Oluwafemi said.

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