A recent study found that only one percent of Nigeria’s over 140 million people are protected by strong smoke-free laws.
Moreover, the researchers also declared that they discover that in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, 55 percent of children were not aware that secondhand smoke is harmful to their health.
Doctors frequently said that previous studies also found that secondhand smoke was a proven cause of serious diseases and premature death. Researchers explained that nearly 90 percent of people on the African continent are without significant protection from secondhand cigarette smoke.
The research noted that it was anxiety that Africa, which accounted for 14 percent of the world’s population, had just four percent of the world’s smokers today.
Despite the infinitely percentage of the world’s smokers on the continent, researchers explained that African nations would soon experience the highest increase in the rate of tobacco use among developing countries.
Tom Glynn of the Global Smoke free Partnership told the Agency France Press: “If we don’t act now on tobacco control in Africa, millions of lives will be lost because tobacco is now becoming a big problem in Africa.”
Despite the obscure picture, the researchers noted that many African countries were opposing tobacco industry’s active attempts to stop governments from putting in place smoke-free laws.
“For the first time in history, we have the instruments in hand to prevent a pandemic. Recent data suggests that, with current trends, more than half of the region of Africa will double its tobacco consumption within 12 years. Smoke-free public places are one example of a low-cost and very efficient intervention that must be proposed right now for to protect health,” said Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
Kenya and Niger had established national smoke-free policies within the last year, and South Africa, which had been smoke-free since March 2007, still played a main role on the continent.
Since anti-smoking law was passed in 1990, Nigerian law enforcement agencies were yet to arrest and prosecute any violator, added researchers.
Researchers concluded that there are a lot of misunderstandings about this legislation. The law says the smokers cannot smoke indoors. If you go to government buildings, schools, restaurants, hospitals, do people smoke there? The answer of course is NO. In general enforcing the law does not mean people should be jailed. The law is self-enforcing and it is meant to teach attitudes.
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