Nigeria bans Shisha and flavoured tobacco

Tuesday June 5 2018

Shisha smoking

A reveller smokes Shisha. Nigeria has banned flavoured tobacco, including Shisha. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MOHAMMED MOMOH
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Nigeria has banned flavoured tobacco, including Shisha, and ordered the arrest anyone or organisation engaged in its sale or use.

Health minister Isaac Adewole announced the ban on Tuesday saying that tobacco, whether Shisha, cigar or cigarette, was harmful to health.

Prof Adewole said the ministry was working with key stakeholders for eventual ban of all the tobacco products in Nigeria.

He added that people imported tobacco under a different brand called Shisha, pointing out that the flavoured brand was not acceptable in Nigeria.

The slogan

The minister said the 2018 World No Tobacco Day had “Tobacco and Heart Disease” as its theme and the slogan is “Tobacco Breaks the Heart – Choose Health, Not Tobacco”.

The theme and slogan, he noted, highlighted the link between the use of tobacco products and heart and other cardiovascular diseases.

The Director-General of Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mr Babatunde Irukera, said the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) had developed a plan on some provisions of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act, which stakeholders could immediately implement.

He explained that the plan had outlined education, enforcement and monitoring for compliance, including the ban on sale of tobacco products to and by anyone below 18 years of age.

Blood pressure

The World Health Organisation Country Representative, Dr Wondi Alemu, said the 2018 World No Tobacco Day focused on raising awareness on the link between tobacco and cardiovascular diseases.

Dr Alemu said tobacco and cardiovascular diseases were the world's leading causes of death.

“Tobacco use is the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases after high blood pressure, with up to half of all users dying prematurely from tobacco-related causes,’’ he said.

The WHO official urged the Federal Government to expedite the enforcement of the National Tobacco Act 2015.