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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Researchers Call for Stronger Controls on Tobacco

The debate over a new and wholistic national tobacco control laws in Nigeria have been the concern of Anti-Tobacco Control Advocates, Nigerian Government and those engaging in the cultivation, processing, distribution, advertising and marketing of tobacco's lethal products.

A Public Hearing on the National Tobacco Control Bill 2009 was held on July 21 and 22 by the Nigeria Senate's Health Committe to this effect, in which over 40 civil society group made presentaions. The bill which would amend the 1990 Tobacco Control Laws of Nigeria is sponsored by Deputy Minority Leader, Senator OlorunimbeMamora, will completely domesticate the WHO Framework Convention onTobacco Control (FCTC), which Nigeria signed in 2004 and ratified in2005 but is yet to fully domesticate in Nigeria.

The imperative of a new tobacco control laws is not new to Nigeria as example abound elsewhere in the world. The New Zealand case report below not only call for a stronger control but emphaise the rich benefits of putting one in place as well as the modalities. In other word, the draft National Tobocco Control Bill 2009 is a product of a rich consultation so that when passed into law will be adequate to address the subject matter of tobacco control beyond the scope its 1990 content would.

New Zealand- Call for Stronger Controls on Tobacco

Health researchers say tobacco control policies should be strengthened or modified because they have reduced smoking by only 3%.
The issue is being discussed at the public health association conference at Otago University in Dunedin.
Professor Peter Crampton from Otago University campus in Wellington told delegates that in 1996 about 24% of New Zealanders were smokers. Despite significant reforms, he says, a decade later that figure had dropped by just 3%.
Professor Crampton says smoking prevalence has actually increased over that period in several demographics. He believes the figures illustrate that dramatic changes to tobacco policy are required.
Another researcher, Professor Richard Edwards, suggests a tobacco supply agency be established to restrict the amount of tobacco entering New Zealand.
He says the agency would buy the tobacco from the tobacco industry and then control how and where it was sold.
Professor Edwards says sales could be banned within 1km of schools and tobacco sold in plain packaging featuring only health warnings.

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