Search This Blog

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Public hearing on Tobacco Bill begins at Senate tomorrow

From Charles Coffie-Gyamfi

THE first public hearing on the proposed National Tobacco Control Bill holds at the Senate tomorrow.

Senator Olurunnibe Mamora has sponsored the bill at the Upper House to check unrestricted marketing, selling and smoking of tobacco in whatever form.

A World Health Organsation (WHO) research has shown that 175 million people would die in the next 10 years as a result of tobacco smoking.

The bill, which has received strong support from the Environmental Right Action (ERA) and Coalition Against Tobacco, two non-governmental organisation (NGOs), aims at ensuring that long-term damaging effects of tobacco on its smokers is curtailed.

Co-ordinator of Coalition Against Tobacco, Mrs. Olatoyosi Onaolapo, who spoke with journalists at the weekend in Abeokuta, disclosed that the organisation had embarked on intensive lobbying to ensure the passage of the bill as a matter of urgency.

"We are in touch with the sponsor of the bill and we have made our input into the drafts. Smoking in public places, unrestricted marketing and sales and smoking by under-aged youths will be prohibited when the bill is eventually passed", she remarked.

According to Onaolapo, Nigeria is one of the countries where there is no legislation against tobacco smoking and marketing, noting that past pronouncements by past governments had never been followed by action.