4.5 Million Nigerians Consume 20 Billion Cigarettes Sticks Annually
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said this on Monday at a sensitisation workshop for law enforcement agencies and mass media on the implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 in Abuja.
The minister said preventive measures to be taken by the government through the Tobacco Control Act would include prohibition of smoking for persons under 18 years of age as well as the ban on smoking in parks, markets, restaurants and other public places.
Adewole, whose speech was read by the Head of Department, Public Health, Dr. Evelyn Ngige, said, “According to Nigeria’s adult tobacco survey, over 20 billion sticks of cigarettes are consumed in the country by 4.5 million adults. This is 5.6 per cent of our population annually. The survey shows that 4.1 million men and 500,000 women smoke in Nigeria, while 6.4 million adults are exposed to smokers. We have to fight this looming epidemic now.
“In May 2017, the World Health Organisation reported that tobacco presently kills more than seven million people each year. Six million deaths are from direct use while others are due to exposure to tobacco smoking.
“Low and middle-income countries such as Nigeria account for 80 per cent tobacco – related morbidity and mortality. This is an increased strain on our already weak and fragile health system.”