Niger - possible prison for violating smoking ban..

May 1, 2008 - Niger's government has issued a decree enforcing a ban on smoking in public places and on communal transport. Niger's parliament passed the smoking ban in 2006, but the cabinet had not issued the decree to make it effective.

A BBC reporter in the capital, Niamey, says the ban can be applied with immediate effect. But he says it is not clear if there will be a period of grace during a planned public information campaign.

The law provides for fines ranging from 5,000 CFA ($11, £6) to 1,000,000 CFA ($2,170, £1,240), as well as prison terms for those who violate the ban. Shops and services that breach the ban can also have their licenses removed. The ban covers public transport and taxis, but not private vehicles. The government is planning a media campaign to inform people about the new measure.

Niger is one of the countries with the highest proportion of children exposed to second-hand smoke in 2000: India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Philippines, Vietnam, and Russia. (Youth Tobacco Use: A Global Perspective for Child Health Care Clinicians, Alexander V. Prokhorov, MD, PhD et al, PEDIATRICS Vol. 118 No. 3 September 2006, pp. e890-e903 (doi:10.1542/peds.2005-0810).

Children's Marlboro shorts bought in Niger. (Tobacco Control Journal, 2002)

Related news brief: July 22, 2008.

Reference: Niger cabinet passes smoking ban, BBC News, 9/12/2008.

Niger has ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.