Sunday, 18 February 2018

CISLAC advocates effective tobacco control in Nigeria

Efio-Ita Nyok|18 February 2018 

A civil society advocacy group identified as Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Saturday, in Calabar, Cross River capital city, held a one day Expanded Workshop for Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) in South-South Nigeria towards Supporting Effective Tobacco Control Measures in Nigeria NegroidHaven can say. 

The event which held in Axari Hotel and Suites, Calabar between 9AM and 5PM had two technical sessions, an exercise to test participants knowledge on the NTC Act, 2015 and a group exercise as well, exposed attendees to the nitty-gritty of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act 2015 while introducing them to Tobacco Industry Interference (TII) in which they had a fair knowledge of Tobacco industry tactics, tobacco industry monitoring and the role of CSOs. 

According to Mr Okeke Anya, a CISLAC Facilitator during the workshop session on 'Understanding the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Acts 2015', tobacco consumption remains the leading cause of death globally. He informed that in respect of a World Health Organisation (WHO) report six (6) million humans die from tobacco use annually and that there's a projection for the figures to rise to eight (8) million in the next couple of years particularly 2030. Anya further added that the consumption of tobacco products is inspired by the addictive capacity of a major chemical component, to wit, Nicotine. 

His words, 'Tobacco is the second major cause of mortality in the world leading to untimely deaths of millions of people worldwide. More specifically, several credible reports indicate the global tobacco epidemic kills about six million people annually about of which 600,000 are non-smokers. About eight million people are also estimated to be at risk of losing their lives by year 2030 most especially from developing countries like Nigeria.' 

'The motivation for the consumption of tobacco products is reportedly derived largely from the addictive effects of its major chemical constituents (nicotine) on the nervous system. To be sure, tobacco is one of the most commonly used addictive substances containing several chemicals that remain injurious to human health', he added. 

In the course of the workshop, it was discovered that the NTC Act 2015 is subdivided into twelve (12) which establishes the National Tobacco Control Committee (NATOCC), National Tobacco Control Unit (NATOCU) and the Tobacco Control Fund. These are regulatory mechanisms and administrative structures aimed at ensuring implementation of the law. The NATOCC and NATOCU as well as the Tobacco Control Fund are to be set up by the Federal Ministry of Health. While NATOCC evolves guidelines and adopts effective regulations, NATOCU serves the purpose of implementation. 

Mr Anya while exposing participants to variant tobacco industry tactics and the role of CSOs charged them to ensure awareness/education regarding the NTC 2015 Act, advocacy for enforcement of the law for compliance and the assessment of the law's implementation in order to monitor and improve effectiveness of implementation. 

Participants present at the workshop were Mr Ben Usang of African Dignity Foundation, Ms Ekei Bassey of Greencode, Mr Bassey Edem of Edem Children Foundation, John Ebi of Women in Detention Right Initiative, Cletus Bassey of Conscience Alive Foundation, Shabam Abdullahi of Moslem Community in Cross River State, Glory Ene of Centre for Training and Development Activities, Anietie Effiong of Gender and Development Action and Tony Kedang of Life Empowerment Network on Water and Sanitation. 

Efio-Ita Nyok
Is a Blogger, the Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of NegroidHaven 

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