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At World No Tobacco Day, activists urge FG to establish control fund

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Civil society organisations (CSOs) and student groups have charged the Federal Government to establish a Tobacco Control Fund as a way of marking the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), which holds on May 31 yearly.

They rallied in major streets of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and Lagos, demanding government’s enforcement of the ban on smoking in public places, among other provisions of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act, which was signed into law in 2015. Groups like the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Cedars Foundation, Gatefield, Smoke-free Club UniAbuja and other youth groups attended the rally, which held at the behest of the Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA).

Before the kick-off of the march, Malau Toma of the ministry of health explained that the thrust of the exercise was to sensitise members of the public on the dangers of tobacco smoking and solicit their support for the NTC Act. He also explained that the theme of the 2018 WNTD: Tobacco And Heart Disease, made it imperative to also make the public realise the dangers of second-hand smoke, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) blamed for 600,000 deaths yearly.

The provisions announced include ban on smoking in public places, restriction on underage access and ban of sales in single sticks, among others.


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