Friday 3rd July 2020
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Commission pledges to protect minors, others in tobacco law enforcement

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it will protect the interests of people, especially minors, in its enforcement of the National Tobacco Control Act.

tobacco smoking
According to scientists, tobacco smoking is dangerous to health

Director-General of the commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, made the assertion when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum in Abuja on Sunday, June 28, 2020.

Irukera said the commission was sensitive to the plight of minors whose family members are involved in the habit of smoking.

“I firmly believe that I have a responsibility to protect the choices people make.

“And so, even smokers are consumers who warrant some level of protection. However, I think the science is very clear.

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“There is global consensus about the risks to health pre-associated with tobacco consumption and so, I always say that even the smokers we have the responsibility to protect must make sure that they are engaging in the habit based on an informed decision.

“And their own liberties and prerogatives and discretion ends where it potentially infringes the rights of others and the science is also very clear that second hand tobacco smoke is harmful.

“We will make sure that they engage in the habit in a manner that does not endanger others in the society including members of their families because minors are involved.

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“We owe more sensitive responsibility to make sure that even children of smokers are protected from the potential harm associated with their parents’ choices,’’ he explained.

He noted that the commission would soon commence its enforcement on the sale of cigarettes by stick, which was one of the key access control measures.

Irukera said the delay in the enforcement was to ensure that producers, importers and distributors of the cigarettes distributed their products in a way that is not in any way a violation of the law.

The director-general, who disclosed that the commission had improved its enforcement drive, called on citizens to demand and insist on their rights and involve the regulator in the event of abuse.

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According to him, the most important thing people should know is that “the services you pay for or the things you pay for are not a favour”.

“Service providers and those who sell things to you owe you an obligation,’’ he said.

By Ginika Okoye

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