NMA Lauds Lagos Govt For Signing Anti-Smoking Bill To Law

The President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Osahon Enabulele, has commended the Lagos state government for signing into law the Bill that prohibits smoking in public places on Monday, February 17,2014.
The bill which was passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday, January 20, 2014 seeks to among other provisions, ban cigarette smoking in public toilets, tertiary institutions, public transportation vehicles, shopping centres, stadia, and restaurants.
The bill, now law, also compels management of public places to conspicuously display “NO SMOKING” sign at appropriate positions within their premises; and criminalise smoking before minors.
The association however, commends this bold effort by the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Lagos state Government at protecting public health, promoting public decency and safe guarding the health and morality of children in Lagos state.
Worried about compliance and therefore, the implementation of the law given the sub-optimal levels of public awareness and health education on the dangers associated with tobacco smoking, the association states, “we are also worried over the absence of cigarette smoking withdrawal programmes, particularly as it affects the fate of citizens who have not been prepared for the drastic withdrawal from the highly addictive and cancer inducing substances contained in cigarettes.
“Noting that commodities like nicotine patches and e-cigarettes that mitigate the withdrawal symptoms in smoke quitters are not readily available in Nigeria, NMA calls on governments at all levels to emulate and even out pace the Lagos state government in giving biting teeth to the concerns on the dangers of cigarette smoking by promulgating implementable laws, educating the general public, and providing the much needed but scarce commodities for rehabilitating smokers and aid those who want to quit.
“While the much needed role of Faith-Based Organizations and other social groups cannot be over emphasized, NMA notes that the achievement of a smoking-free society lies in all citizens, families and groups.”


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