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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Group wants ban on sale of cigarettes near schools

By Ayodeji Moradeyo

The federal government should ban the sale of cigarettes near institutions of learning in the country, a non- governmental group, Campaign for Tobacco Free Youths, has said.
“It is highly wrong for cigarettes to be sold near school environment; government must do everything to ensure that our students are not exposed to seeing cigarettes being sold like biscuits,” the coordinator of the group, Gbenga Adejuwon, said.
Mr. Adejuwon, who spoke at a workshop organised in Akure, on Wednesday, also appealed to the governors of the 36 states of the federation to implement the article 8 of the Frame Work Convention on Tobacco Control of the World Health Organisation.
“The article, according to him, will also restrict the exposure to tobacco smoke to prevent hazards from second hand smoke,” he said.
Mr. Adejuwon also urged all states to set up tobacco control committees which will comprise government officials and tobacco control organizations.
The committee, he said, would be empowered by law to prosecute people who smoke cigarettes in public places.
The anti-tobacco activists present at the event also raised alarm over what they said was the attitude of tobacco companies to slow down the hearing of public health cases filed against them in courts by various anti tobacco groups.
“Most of these companies, through their counsels, asked for unnecessary adjournments to deliberately slow down the pace of judgement and frustrate the trials,” Mr. Adejuwon said.
The workshop was organized to inform students about the harmful effects of cigarette.