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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Transmit tobacco bill for presidential assent, ERA tells NASS

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth (ERA/FoEN) has asked the National Assembly to immediately transmit the recently passed National Tobacco Control Bill to the Presidency for signing into law in order to save millions of lives endangered by tobacco use.

In a release issued in Lagos and signed by the Director Corporate Accountability & Administration, Akinbode Oluwafemi, the group warned that failure to send the bill to the President for his signature would have negative consequences for public health in Nigeria and roll back any gains made by the passage of the bill in the first instance.

ERA/FOEN’s call is coming on the heels of a similar call by the American Cancer Society (ACS) for comprehensive policy to tackle the cancer epidemic in developing countries. The ACS made the call in New York at a meeting to deliberate on the United Nations High Level Meeting on Non Communicable Diseases (NCD).

The ACS said tobacco use in developing countries account for about 80 per cent of all cancer deaths.

“The two chambers of the National Assembly have put the health of Nigerians above partisan politics and profits of the tobacco multinationals by passing into law the National Tobacco Control Bill. It will be a waste of public resources expended into the process and a betrayer of public health if the Principal Officers in the National Assembly fail to transmit the bill to the president for signing.”


Monday, June 20, 2011


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NEWS ALERT: 5 million to die from tobacco-related diseases

Lagos-With over five million people estimated to die from tobacco related diseases globally this year, the Lagos State government has set up a multi-sectoral committee to begin  massive enlightenment campaign to reduce consumption and discourage smoking of all tobacco products in the state.
This  came on the heels of recent concurrent passage of the National Tobacco Control Bill by the National Assembly.
The Tobacco Bill makes it mandatory to affix health warnings on tobacco product packs, bans the sale of cigarettes to minors (under 18 years), strictly regulate tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion, prohibites smoking in public places and the introduction of regulations on the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products in the country.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Femi Olugbile, said the committee was part of the state government commitment to ensure that Nigerians were not part of the estimated five million people, who will die from tobacco use.
Olugbile at the briefing to mark this year’s ‘World No Tobacco Day’ WNTD, noted that members of the committee were drawn from relevant line ministries, private sector, civil society and the media and will come up with comprehensive multi-sectoral measures to reduce consumption of tobacco products.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Why President Must Sign Anti-Tobacco Bill

ERA praises Reps over concurrent passage of Tobacco Bill

The Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has commended the concurrent passage of the National Tobacco Control Bill by the House of Representatives yesterday, describing it as a milestone in the history of public health in Nigeria.

The passage of the Bill by both the Senate and House of Representatives has also placed Nigeria on the global map of countries that have domesticated the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). ERA/FoEN Director of Senate and House of Representatives, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “We commend the forthrightness of the House of Representatives for seizing the opportunity of this year’s commemoration of the World No Tobacco Day to give this nation a law with far-reaching consequences on our well-being. Though this took long to come, we are in no doubt that this bill will stem the gale of tobacco -related deaths.

“We cheer the House of Representatives and the honourable lawmakers who deemed it fit to stamp their feet in the annals of history by passing a bill which will reduce smoking and its attendant health risks. This House of Representatives will also be remembered for taking a bold step that will safeguard the health of Nigerians today and in the future.” He however urged the President to quickly append his signature to the Tobacco Law and the prompt constitution of a National Tobacco Control Committee which will guide its enforcement.


Thursday, June 2, 2011