CISLAC moves against tobacco epidemic in Nigeria


Tobacco: Lung cancer agent

By Taiwo Okanlawon

The World Health Organization, WHO, has revealed a stark reality for Nigeria, reporting an estimated 13 million smokers and linking over 16,000 deaths annually to smoking-related causes.

This is according to CISLAC’s Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, represented by Muhammad Murtala, during a one-day stakeholders’ engagement in Dutse, Jigawa State.

He said Tobacco use remains the leading cause of death among non-communicable diseases, NCDs as it is directly linked to a high burden of cancer, heart diseases and stroke.

According to him, “There are around 1.1 billion smokers worldwide and about 80% of these live in low- and middle-income countries, LMICs, where more than two-thirds of smoking-related deaths occur”

“Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and has one of the leading tobacco markets in Africa, with over 18 billion cigarettes sold annually.

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“The WHO estimated about 13 million smokers in Nigeria in 2012, with over 16,000 deaths attributable to smoking”

Rafsanjani said this alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for awareness and action on the tobacco epidemic within the nation.

He said Nigeria continues to sustain tobacco control efforts in the country but that there is also a need to expand the effort in all the states.

The group noted that commercials by international tobacco companies and the relative role they play in economic growth may have contributed to a rise in smoking rates.

He said the WHO-FCTC recognizes tax and price measures as the most cost-effective tool for tobacco control as they reduce affordability, especially among low-income earners and reduce initiation of children to smoking.

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