Nigeria to launch“Tobacco-Free Nigeria’’ campaign

Nigeria’s ministry of health has announced plans to launch a six-month national tobacco control communications campaign to educate Nigerians on the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act and raise awareness on the dangers of tobacco smoke.

The Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Boade Akinola, in a statement on Wednesday quoted the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, as saying that the “Tobacco-Free Nigeria’’ will “leverage on social media and offline interactions to reach young Nigerians, especially second-hand smokers who need to be aware of the ban of smoking in public places and protect themselves.”

In the statement, Professor Adewole said the ministry has “appointed some Nigerian music superstars, as well as a young influential leader, Miss Saadatu Aliyu of the World Economic Forum Abuja Global Shapers Hub to leverage their influence with the young people of Nigeria.”

The WHO estimates that tobacco use is currently responsible for the death of about six million people annually across the world with 80 per cent of these deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries like Nigeria.

“This includes about 600,000 people who are also estimated to die from the effects of second-hand smoke,” the minister said.

The campaign is supported by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Washington DC and Gatefield Impact.

Rafat S.