The Federal Government through the Ministry of Health has lamented the high consumption rate of tobacco in the country, saying that about 4.5 million Nigerians consumed 20 billion cigarettes yearly. The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said this on Monday at a sensitisation workshop for law enforcement agencies and mass media on the implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 in Abuja.
The minister said preventive measures to be taken by the government through the Tobacco Control Act would include prohibition of smoking for persons under 18 years of age as well as the ban on smoking in parks, markets, restaurants and other public places.
Adewole said, “Over 20 billion sticks of cigarettes are consumed in the country by 4.5 million adults. This is 5.6 per cent of our population annually. The survey shows that 4.1 million men and 500,000 women smoke in Nigeria, while 6.4 million adults are exposed to smokers. We have to fight this looming epidemic now.