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Thursday, 1 June 2017

FG introduces 9 regulations to limit tobacco use as WHO says smoking kills 7 million people a year

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new report giving details of the environmental cost of tobacco which translates to a yearly loss of $1.4 trillion in health-care expenses and lost productivity.

According to the report, smoking kills 7 million people a year, and it scars the planet through deforestation, pollution and littering.

"Tobacco not only produces lung cancer in people, but it is a cancer to the lungs of the Earth," said Dr. Armando Peruga, who reviewed the new report for the WHO.

The report goes on to say, In 2012, 967 million daily smokers consumed approximately 6.25 trillion cigarettes worldwide which means that about 6,000 metric tonnes of formaldehyde and 47,000 metric tonnes of nicotine are released into the environment.



Tobacco smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals, at least 250 of which are known to be harmful. It also contains climate-warming carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides. Secondhand smoke is particularly deadly: It contains twice as much nicotine and 147 times more ammonia than so-called mainstream smoke, leading to close to 1 million deaths annually, 28% of them children. Some of these pollutants remain in the environment as "third-hand smoke," accumulating in dust and surfaces indoors, and in landfills.

Some, like nicotine, even resist treatment, polluting waterways and potentially contaminating water used for consumption, the study notes. The WHO estimates that between 340 million and 680 million kilograms of tobacco waste are thrown away every year, and cigarette butts account for 30% to 40% of all items collected in coastal and urban clean-ups. 


Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, has announced nine regulations in the Nigeria Tobacco Control Act to be implemented by the federal government.

The National Tobacco Control Act was signed into law in 2015 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The theme for this year’s event, ‘Tobacco: A Threat to Development,’ aims at highlighting the link between tobacco use and development, Premium Times reports.

Below are the regulations listed by the minister to be implemented:

1. Prohibition of the sale of tobacco products to and by anyone below age 18.

2. Ban of the sale of cigarettes in single sticks; cigarettes must be sold in packs of 20 sticks only.
3. Smokeless tobacco shall be sold in a minimum of a pack of 30 grammes.

4. Ban of sale or offer for sale or distribution of tobacco or tobacco products through the mail, the internet, or other online devices.

5. Prohibition of interference of tobacco industry in public health and related issues.

6. Prohibition of smoking in anywhere on the premises of a child care facility, educational facility, and healthcare facility. Other prohibited for smoking include playgrounds, amusement parks, plazas, public parks, stadia, public transport, restaurants’ bar, and other public gathering spaces.

7. Prosecution of owner or manager of any of the places listed above who permits, encourages or fails to stop smoking in the above-listed places.

8. Prohibition of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship of any kind.

9. Compliance with specified standards for content.




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