Nigeria Goes Tough On Tobacco
The Federal Government has proposed N50,000 fine for anyone who smokes in non-smoking designated areas in Nigeria. In the alternative, such people could face six months imprisonment; or both fine and imprisonment.
This is contained in the new Tobacco Control Bill 2014, which was approved by the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, on Wednesday.
The bill also proposes that companies that violate the eventual law be fined N1 to N5 million, while their chief executives may also be imprisoned for one to two years.
The content of the bill was disclosed by the Minister of Heath, Onyebuchi Chukwu, who briefed journalists at the end of the FEC meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Chukwu said the Draft Tobacco Control Bill, 2014 will be forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.
"Now the areas that are being targeted include the environment. We want to produce 100 per cent tobacco free environment for people (who) do not want anything to do with tobacco use.
"And so places will be clearly designated whether public places, whether indoor, or outdoor will be clearly designated as non smoking area."
"The responsibility, say for instance, a hotel, rest on the owners of the hotel to clearly indicate the areas that are non smoking so that if you ever decide to go to a place that has been clearly designated non smoking area, you will be liable to being prosecuted and then the law will take its course. The same thing with mode of transportation- land, railway, sea, air, they are all covered," he said.
The minister said the bill totally bans advertisement by tobacco companies.