The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole recently called for collaboration of the law enforcement Agencies and the Mass Media towards the implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 in Nigeria.
The Minister who was represented by the Director, Public Health in the Ministry, Dr. Evelyn Ngige, made this statement during the Sensitisation workshop organised for the Law Enforcement Agencies and the Mass Media held in Abuja.
Prof. Adewole noted that the article 12 of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Act and section 38 of the Tobacco Act made provision for education, communication, training and public awareness, adding that the law enforcement, the media and other stakeholders have been identified to play strategic role in making the NTC Act feasible.
He observed that the tobacco industry has an aggressive media strategy designed to make people wanting to buy more and more of their products, adding that they have developed schemes to achieve this target, ‘’we cannot allow that to continue, it is time to turn the tide and be a step ahead’’, he said.He pointed out that there was overwhelming evidence across many countries that the media and law enforcement contribute significantly towards curbing the tobacco epidemic, adding that it was vital for the media to be mobilised towards public health and economic argument against tobacco.
Prof. Adewole emphasised that all hands must be on deck to surmount the antics and tactics of the tobacco industry whose policies and ideology are inimical to the health and wellbeing of Nigeria by being innovative, strategic and collaborative .
Earlier in her welcome address, the Director of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, who was represented by the National Coordinator of Non- Communicable Diseases, Dr. Nnenna Ezeigwe, said that the essence of the workshop was to lay bare all the information about hazardous nature of tobacco as confirmed by the World Health Organisation ,digest the NTC Act ,clear all misconception and collectively develop a template that all can use in discharging our respective mandates as they relate to the implementation of the NTC Act 2015.
She thanked the WHO, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and FMOH for taking the initiative of organising this sensitization workshop.