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CPC raids Lagos’ lounges, parks to enforce tobacco control act

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Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has raided lounges, bars, open markets and parks in Lagos State to enforce the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act.

CPC officials from Abuja came to Lagos on Thursday to continue the enforcement of the act, which seemed to be ignored by tobacco users and sellers.

They had raided Port Harcourt and Abuja before visiting Lagos to raid places where cigarettes and shisha are openly sold.

The nine provisions of the NTC Act that the CPC is enforcing that do not require regulations are provisions that ban sale of cigarettes in single sticks and smoking in public places.

Penalty for any of the violations includes fines and prison terms.

During the Lagos exercise, the CPC went on the operation with the police to areas around the popular old Ojota Motor Park and adjoining motor parks. The team also visited Classique Lounge and Vibe Lounge in Oregun, where shisha is sold.

The CPC action is coming nearly two years after the number one health officer in the land, Professor Isaac Adewole, announced nine provisions of the NTC Act that would not require regulations for enforcement.

This means that agencies of government enforcing the law would not need the nod of the National Assembly and other bureaucracies to carry out enforcement.
  
Meanwhile, the exercise by the CPC has been commended by the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA), which in a press briefing in Lagos yesterday said that the agency should not rest on its oars as it embarks on the national assignment of safeguarding the health of Nigerians.

Programme coordinator of NTCA, Oluseun Esan said: “We are delighted that enforcement started in Abuja in January and has been extended to Lagos and Port Harcourt. We commend the CPC for taking the lead and ask that other agencies to also join.”

Esan, however, explained that full enforcement of the Act would only occur when the National Assembly approves the National Tobacco Control Regulations, which the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved in June 2018.


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