5 ways Nigeria’s Tobacco Control laws benefit all of us

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Tobacco is one of the largest contributors to preventable diseases as about 7million people globally die from tobacco related diseases annually. Cigarette smokers have a higher chance of being infected by the coronavirus as a result of the respiratory damages it causes. The 2019 Nigerian Tobacco Control regulations have physical, mental and social benefits to the population. Here are five ways the Tobacco Control Regulations are beneficial: 

 

Protects our health

Nigeria’s tobacco control regulations ban smoking in public places. Public places as defined in the law include; educational facilities, health care facilities, playgrounds, amusement parks, restaurants, bars and other public gathering spaces. The benefit of this regulation is most felt by non-smokers who are exposed to the toxins contained in tobacco smoke, and at high risk of suffering from tobacco related diseases such as cancer, and other cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. According to the World Health Organisation, passive smokers stand a 30% chance of tobacco related diseases.

 

Protects our children  

Currently, 25,000 Nigerian children smoke everyday. The Tobacco Control Regulations state that people under the age of 18 are banned  from buying cigarettes. Vendors also have a responsibility to enforce this by checking their identification before purchase. With these laws, our kids can have healthier and more socially responsible lives.

 

Protects our finances

Tobacco companies typically market their products to developing countries where most citizens are economically disadvantaged. The regulation prohibits the sale of cigarettes in single sticks with a minimum sale of 20 sticks per pack. This stops the easy circulation and access to everyone including people under the age of 18. Selling cigarettes in packets makes it easy for the government to tax it and increase prices. 

 

Protects us from harm

Clearer warning signs will enlighten the public on the health effects of tobacco smoking. Cigarette packs must have clear and understandable warning signs that cover over at least 50% of the cigarette pack, this will help incentivize smokers to quit. The implementation of this educates people on the health warnings of smoking. 

 

Protects us from manipulation  

Advertisers of television, music or literary art have a responsibility to implement the NTC regulations. The regulation states that any person who advertises cigarettes must warn its viewers on the health dangers of tobacco smoking. This protects anybody including young people from being manipulated by tobacco ads.