The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance has urged the Federal Government to immediately operationalise the tobacco control fund to protect Public Health from the destructive effects of Tobacco in Nigeria.
The group made the call at a briefing in Abuja on the Current Status of the Tobacco control Fund.
They said continuous delay is detrimental to the country’s economy and negatively impacts important tobacco Control work.
The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 8 million people a year, including around 1.2 million who die from exposure to second-hand smoke.
In 2008, the World Health Organisation tagged the use of Tobacco as the World’s single greatest preventable cause of death.
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To this end, the Organisation established the WHO framework Convention on Tobacco Control of which Nigeria is among 182 countries that have pledged to take action to reduce the harmful impacts on their countries.
The agreement has led to the establishment of a Tobacco Control Fund in the NTC ACT 2015 to ensure the protection of public health.
But the fund is yet to take full flight and this group is now seeking immediate Action from the government.
The group is also concerned that, despite the terrible health risks and ongoing delays in implementing the Fund, tobacco companies now enjoy a license-free holiday, increasing the risk to public health.
The group urged the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies to step up to their responsibility and make the Control Fund fully operational as soon as possible