Search This Blog

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tobacco: Experts blame poor taxation for increase in smoking

-Yekeen Nurudeen

INCREASE in the number of smokers has been attributed to the cheap price of tobacco products, which in turn is caused by Federal Government’s inability to impose heavy tax on the products.
An expert in tobacco control, Akinbode Oluwafemi, made the observation yesterday in Abuja at a one-day workshop organised for journalists on the role of the media in the campaign against smoking in public places in the Federal Capital (FCT).He said if heavy taxation can be imposed on tobacco, the cost of production will increase and this will in turn lead to the increase in the price of the products thereby discouraging youths from smoking. A pack of cigarettes that sells for N200 in Nigeria, according to him, goes for about $5 in the United States of America due to the heavy taxation placed on the manufacturing companies, even as he stressed that “smoking is a sure gateway to drug addiction.”Describing smoking as a major risk factor for different cancer cases, Akinbode said it is also linked to about 15 various cases of cancer in the human body.