More than 600,000 who die annually from tobacco related diseases are nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke. The world’s leading preventable cause of death claiming the lives of 6 million people each year, tobacco is a slow, but more often than not, sure killer. Numbers do not lie. They aren’t pretty, but they represent the hard facts about the effects of tobacco worldwide. Most of tobacco’s damage to health does not become evident until years or even decades after the onset of use.
There are currently no national restrictions on the advertising and promotion of tobacco use in Nigeria. A campaign has recently been launched to raise awareness on the various health risks of smoking and second hand smoke, as well as the toll of tobacco use on the Nigerian population.
Tobacco Control Nigeria is a behavioural change and public health campaign project using Social Media to advance tobacco control and support the passage of a comprehensive Tobacco Control (TC) law compliant with the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). According to the project campaign manager, Olamide Egbayelo “we hope to nurture and give voice to a community of persons focused on ensuring that tobacco companies carry out their advertising and marketing responsibly. We want to ensure that Nigerian children are properly protected from pressures to take up smoking, that public places are protected from the tyranny of secondhand smoke, that persons who wish to quit smoking find the support they require.” The project will be launched in August.
However, in 2012, Nigeria conducted the Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS) and is the first country in the African region to do so. GATS aims to assist countries address selected demand-related articles of the World Health Organization on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). It also further supports the WHO MPOWER policy package
The report reveals that exposure to secondhand smoke is highest among those who visited restaurants. 29.3% of adults (6.4 million adults) were exposed to tobacco smoke when visiting restaurants. Nigeria has the opportunity to focus on prevention, stop initiation, and further decrease prevalence rates. A copy of the full GATS report can be downloaded here
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