Nigeria: NASAC Wants Tobacco Education in School Curricula
Lagos — The Network of African Science Academics (NASAC) has called for the integration of information on the ill effects of tobacco into the curricula of health promotion in primary and secondary schools to promote greater awareness of such information.
Delivering a paper titled, "Preventing a Tobacco Epidemic in Africa: A Call for Effective Action to Support Health, Social, and Economic Development", recently at the presentation of report on tobacco control in Lagos, President, Nigeria Academy of Science (NAS), Professor Oyewale Tomori disclosed that the report revealed that 15 per cent of children between the age of 13 and 15 were already smokers thus accounting for nearly 6 million deaths annually globally.
According to the report submitted by the committee of experts to discuss the evidence, obstacles, and opportunities for implementing and enforcing tobacco use prevention and control policies in Africa, almost half of children in the world regularly breathe air already polluted by tobacco smoke in public places.
The report drawn by 16 experts from eight countries in Africa at the end of a three day meeting in Kampala, Uganda, "Over 40 percent of children have at least one smoking parent. Second-hand smoke causes more than 600, 000 premature deaths per year.
The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) funded committee report also disclosed that in 2004, children accounted for 28 per cent of the deaths attributable to second hand smoking.
Emphasising the need for intensive education of children of school, the NASAC report expressed dissatisfaction with tobacco companies in Africa who specifically youths by associating cigarettes with trends like fashion, film, sex appeal, well-being and sports in many instances.
"Article 4 of Framework convention on Tobacco control (FCTC) suggests that every person should be informed of the health consequences, additive nature and mortal threat posed by tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke".
"A study on early smoking initiation in seven African countries found that 15.5 per cent of school children had tried a cigarette before the age of 14. Adolescents have the right to information regarding tobacco's negative effects, as well as other tactics used by the tobacco industry to promote misinformation," the committee report said.