October 24, 2008 - Nigeria - House of Representatives yesterday, 10/23/2008 passed the anti-smoking bill prohibiting the smoking of tobacco in public places across the country. By definition, the locations identified as ‘public places’ include hospitals, government offices, nursery, primary and secondary schools among others. Anyone caught smoking cigarettes in public places will now be liable to four months imprisonment, N50, 000 ($436.53USD) fine or both.
The adoption followed the presentation of the report of the Joint Committee on Health and Justice on the issue. Chairman House Committee on Health, Dr. Alaba Ojomo, urged the House to consider the report which provides for the regulation of the production, importation, advertising, promotion, sponsorship, distribution, sale and smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The new law repeals the existing Act. At the plenary, members considered the report and unanimously resolved that sale of cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 years should be punishable and violators should be liable to two months imprisonment, N50,000 fine or both.
Efforts by some members to inject a clause prohibiting the sale and consumption of tobacco at the nation’s airports as well as some other places designated as ‘public places’ failed as majority of members kicked against the amendment. The House also struck out a section of the bill which prescribed a total ban on advertisements and sponsorship of events by tobacco manufacturing companies.
Reference: House Passes Anti-smoking Bill from Onwuka Nzeshi in Abuja, naijarules.com, 10/22/2008.
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WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.