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“FG To Tackle Tobacco Smoking Among Children” — Minister

The Federal Government has reaffirmed its commitment to tackle tobacco use by children in Nigeria.

This was made known by the Minister of Youth and Development, Dr. Jamila Ibrahim, when she received the Regional Director, Tobacco Control Programme Campaign for Tobacco–Free Kids, Ms. Bintou Camara, in her office in Abuja.

Ibrahim said that tobacco smoking among children was a big challenge facing the country.

The minister said Nigeria needs to partner and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to educate Nigerians to understand the health implications of tobacco smoking among young people.

“We will focus on adolescent health. It is the area we need to be proactive in putting mechanisms in place to achieve a preventive approach to tobacco smoking among kids.

“We must work with the act that bans tobacco smoking in public places especially to prevent secondhand smoke,” she said.

Also speaking, Camara said that the organisation was in the country to campaign and educate Nigerians on the danger of tobacco smoking.

“We are the leading advocacy organisation in the world that advocates against tobacco smoking.

“We are focusing on tobacco control. Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths that is why is it important that we tackle tobacco prevention,” she said.

According to her, tobacco companies target young people in order to safeguard their profits.

Camara said that it was important to tackle tobacco control because the world was facing an incredible enemy that may affect public health issues.

She said that the organisation had been working for more than 25 years to educate the youths on the danger of tobacco smoking.

“The organisation has fought to protect children and save lives from causes of preventable death.

“Our vision is a future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco because tobacco has killed enough,” Camara said.

She said that Nigeria was the most important market in Africa and probably the nation with a beautiful, powerful and strong number of young people on the continent.

“The most important thing for us is to raise awareness and educate youths on the consequences of tobacco use.

“Tobacco smoking has killed eight million people a year and out of that number, 1.2 million die from secondhand smoke which means you don’t have to be a smoker. You can die from it, suffer from it whether you want it or not,” she said.

Camara said that the country had passed the tobacco smoking law, saying that implementation and enforcing were most important, especially for young people.

She described tobacco as the entryway to other drugs that generate negative consequences which include mental health, loss of productive life, loss of good health and education among others.



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