Stakeholders in Bauchi State in Nigeria have advocated for tobacco control to regulate smoking and consumption of tobacco products in the state.
They made the call at a dialogue on tobacco taxation organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) on Thursday, March 16, 2023, in Bauchi, the state capital.
CISLAC Executive Director, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, said the dialogue became necessary in view of the spate of tobacco abuse in Nigeria and other African states.
“Hence the need to develop means of curbing the menace across the state and the country at large,” he said.
Represented by Mr Solomon Adoga, Senior Programme Manager, CISLAC, Rafsanjani said the Centre conducted nationwide advocacy on tobacco control to end smoking.
“Tobacco consumption has public health concern, it affects everybody, not just the users, there are people who are expose to health risks through secondary smoke.
“Tobacco consumption creates environmental issues, health issues so it has become very important for governments at the national and state levels to ensure that measures are put in place to curb the menace of these products,” he said.
He, therefore, urged government to develop policies and legislative frameworks to control tobacco use in the state.
Dr Iliyasu Gital, Special Adviser on Agriculture to Gov. Bala Mohammed, said tobacco smoking portends negative effects to the society as it kills many people.
Gital charged the stakeholders to engage relevant agencies to stem smoking and tobacco consumption in the state.
Also, a member of CISLAC Team, Mohammmed Murtala, expressed concern over the downward trend of health financing ocassioned by the dwindling government revenues.
“So we are bringing this message to see that there are creative ways that we can use to mobilise revenue for the government to fund health and other important critical sectors while also controlling tobacco use.
“We are not calling for the outright ban because tobacco products are actually legitimate products, but based on the economic and health effects it has on the livelihood of individuals.
“We are calling on the state government to ensure that policies and legislative framework controlling tobacco use are in place in the state,” he said.
By Ahmed Kaigama