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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Group commends passage of tobacco bill

Lead ImageThe Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FOEN) has commended the Senate over passage of the National Tobacco Control Bill. They say the lawmakers have delivered a major public health tool that will save the lives of millions of Nigerians from tobacco-induced deaths.
According to the group, “We salute the courage of the Nigerian Senate for giving this nation a strong tool to revert growing deaths from tobacco products. Though this has taken us so long, we are confident that this bill will save millions of our brothers and sisters from tobacco-related deaths.” The group had earlier lamented the delay by the National Assembly in passing the law of the National Tobacco Control Bill, saying that delay in the passage of the bill may cost the nation more tobacco-related deaths.
Senate to be remembered
“We also rejoice with the sixth session of the Nigerian Senate because it will be remembered in the history of our nation for passing a bill which will place Nigeria on the map of progressive countries that have initiated policies and measures to reduce smoking and its attendant health risks. This senate will also be remembered for passing a people-oriented law which is aimed at safeguarding our public health and improving the lives of Nigerians,” the group said in a press statement made available to NEXT. The national tobacco bill bans the sales of single sticks of cigarettes, tobacco advertisement, sponsorship, promotions, selling cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 and smoking of tobacco products in public places.
The group however, urged the leadership of the National Assembly “to fast-track the remaining legislative process to ensure that the bill is presented for presidential assent quickly.”