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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Osun House bans smoking in public places

OSUN State House of Assembly has passed a bill prohibiting smoking in public places into law.

While passing the bill into law, the Speaker, Honourable Adejare Bello, appealed to the media to assist in promoting healthy living by sensitising the public to the dangers in tobacco smoking.

Honourable Bello said though smoking was a matter of choice, but the government must be able to protect non-smokers from dangers attached to it, hence the need for the enactment of the law.

Entitled Osun State Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Bill, 2009, the bill prohibited smoking in any part of an enclosed or partially enclosed public place or workplace.

According to the letters of the bill, tobacco smoking was prohibited within 500 metres radius of facilities like schools, health centres, sporting areas and any other place prescribed by the government for public use.

Smoking is also to be prohibited in court buildings, factories, cinema halls, theatres, video houses, disco halls and any other entertainment facilities at any time during which it is open to the public.

The state commissioner for environment is empowered to approve any part of the public places as a designated area for the purpose of smoking.

Any person who contravenes the provisions of the bill risks, on conviction, a fine of between N10,000 and N20,000 and or a jail term from three to six months, while a corporate offender shall be liable to a fine of N250,000.