Health Ministry Conducts Surveys on Tobacco Use

The Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, in collaboration with development partners, is conducting a survey on tobacco use among adolescents aged 10 to 17 years. Additionally, the Ministry plans to carry out the second round of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey by the end of 2024.

Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, announced these initiatives at an event marking the 2024 World No Tobacco Day in Abuja. He explained that these surveys would provide updated data on tobacco use in Nigeria.

Currently, the Ministry, in partnership with Development Gateway (DG), is conducting the Data on Youth and Tobacco in Africa (DaYTA) survey targeting adolescents aged 10 to 17 years. Furthermore, with support from WHO and the CDC Foundation, the Ministry will conduct the second Global Adult Tobacco Survey this year.

Prof. Pate stated that the Tobacco Control Unit plans to establish Tobacco-Free Clubs in selected schools and raise awareness among owners and managers of public places across the six geopolitical zones, in collaboration with Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

He highlighted that tobacco use and exposure are significant risk factors for non-communicable diseases like hypertension, stroke, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This year’s World No Tobacco Day theme, “Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference,” underscores the importance of safeguarding children from tobacco harm.

Represented by Permanent Secretary Ms. Daju Kachollum, Prof. Pate noted the Ministry’s efforts to combat tobacco challenges in Nigeria, including the National Tobacco Control Act of 2015 and the ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Dr. Walter Mulombo, WHO’s Country Representative, pointed out that the tobacco industry targets youth with products like e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products, nicotine pouches, and flavored items with appealing packaging. He urged the government to fully implement the National Tobacco Control Act of 2015 to protect future generations from tobacco harm.

Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, Chairman of the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance, praised the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) for restricting the glamorization of smoking in movies. Dr. Shaibu Husseini, NFVCB’s Executive Secretary, represented by Mrs. Hasina Nasir, emphasized the industry’s use of entertainment to promote tobacco products, necessitating urgent action.

“Today, the film industry faces an emergency requiring bold actions from all stakeholders. The NFVCB, after series of engagements, decided to partner with CAPPA to draft subsidiary legislation to control the promotion and glamorization of tobacco products in films, music videos, and skits. The proposed legislation has been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Justice for gazetting,” she said.

At the event’s conclusion, Ms. Gormwa Gotus and the Tobacco Abstinence Club received awards for their outstanding efforts in tobacco control.

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