Groups seek enforcement of Tobacco Control Act

Following the gazetting of the National Tobacco Regulations 2019, the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) and the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) have demanded prompt enforcement of National Tobacco Control Act, 2015.

The group hailed the Federal Government for the gazetting the Regulations

The gazette of the NTC Regulations 2019 by the Federal Ministry of Health is the final step that gives teeth to the law eight months after it was approved by the Eighth National Assembly on the conclusion of harmonization of the Senate and House of Representatives versions by a Conference Committee set up for the purpose.

The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) and the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) at a media briefing today in Abuja, welcomed the gazette, declaring that it was the right step in the right direction.

They however, charged agencies of government responsible for enforcement of the NTC Act and the Regulations to work collaboratively to ensure that the wellbeing of Nigerians are no longer jeopardized in their quest for illicit profits.

The groups also said that post-gazette the lack of funding for tobacco control might be exploited by the tobacco industry to continue business-as-usual hence next step the federal government must take is to inaugurate the Tobacco Control Fund as recommended by the NTC Act 2015 in Part 3, Section 8 (1) as a mechanism for funding tobacco control.

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At a press conference in Abuja Wednesday, -Hilda Ochefu of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Sub Regional Coordinator for West Africa, Akinbode Oluwafemi-ERA/FoEN Deputy Executive Director, Oluseun Esan-National Coordinator of the NTCA and
Micheal Olaniyan-Technical Research Officer for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, West Africa called for adoption fn the Act.

Among the key provisions of the Regulations is the introduction of health warnings in cigarette packs that must constitute 50% of the principal display area and will be increased to 60% in another four years.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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