NGO moves to ensure tobacco free society

By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

A Non -Governmental Organisation (NGO) New Initiative for Social Development ( NISD) has launched a report on Tobacco, Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship ( TAPS) as its commitment towards proving safe ,sane and tobacco free society in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of NISD Mr . Oyeleye Abiodun disclosed this yesterday during the public presentation of the report on (TAPS) saying of “ TAPS have misleads the public by depicting tobacco as being no different from any other legally permitted product “.
“ Advertisement and marketing of tobacco products increases the social acceptability of tobacco usage and makes it more difficult to educate people about the dangers attached to consumption “.
Abiodun who emphasised that with the effect on the society , this leaded the organization to work on this research project to investigate the violation of Tobacco Industry ( TI) on TAPS regulations in five (5) Local Government Council in Lagos state.
He said TAPS increased the likelihood that people will begin to sustained the use of Tobacco in the society. TI uses many tactics to persuade non- users to start smoking. “Specially, it targets youth and women who are vulnerable to tobacco marketing“
He further explained that from data collected for research project 65% of the retailers that were visited sold tobacco products while 35% of the retails that were not visited did not sale tobacco products. Tobacco advertising stats 47.1% were tobacco products displayed,32.3% were tobacco brand marking on physical structure and 16. 7% were posters /signs among others breakdown.
The Executive Director urged that use of tobacco products directly and directly harms human health “ Attempts by governments and regulatory agencies to curb the increasing use of the deadly product have led to regulations , such as Tobacco Advertising Promotion Sponsorship(TAPS) is bans.
Consequently, the West Africa Coordinator of CTFK Mrs. Hilda Ochcefu maintained that ,the launching and public presentation came at a better time than now whereby the report will be useful for policy formation “while we expect the passage of the tobacco law in 2018.”
Ochecfu said that tobacco industry wants to use Cooperate Social Responsibility (CRS) to promote their imagery by use various forms of tactics not wanting government to regulate or take action .” Tobacco companies also look for new ways of addicting the youth with shisha . We are looking forward when Nigeria will take the lead in banning of shisha.“
She lamented that “The law of tobacco is important as it compliance because about 60,000 die from the effects of tobacco smoking,each of us has a responsibility to play”, she said.
Meanwhile , Dr Malau M. Toma,
Branch Head Tobacco Control Unit Public Health Dept.,
Fédéral Ministry of Health,said CRS has post conflict of interest among government and other stakeholders where even the TI wants to buy advocate over to themselves.
“ stakeholders should use the report in formatting policies and bearing in mind that CRS is also a form of tobacco promotions “.

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