Needs assessment mission: a smoke-free Nigeria under the National Tobacco Control Act
A needs assessment exercise for implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was conducted jointly by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Convention Secretariat, the WHO and the United Nations Development Programme on 10-13 October 2017 in Abuja.
Since Nigeria’s ratification of the WHO FCTC in 2005, the government has signed into a law the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act of 2015 regulating all aspects of tobacco control such as advertising, packaging and smoke free areas.
The Ministry of Health also launched a 6-months tobacco-free campaign in June. The national campaign aims to educate Nigerians on the NTC Act of 2015 and raise awareness on tobacco especially on the ban of smoking in public areas.
Nevertheless, the Convention Secretariat is recommending that provisions of the NTC Act of 2015 be approved as soon as possible by the Federal Government to ensure that indoor smoking ban is enforced and smoke free environment regulations include prohibition of use of tobacco and smokeless products. It is also crucial to end all Corporate Social Responsibility activities to prevent tobacco industry interference such as mentioned in Art 5.3.
During the needs assessment mission, the Hon. Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole renewed his support to the WHO FCTC when meeting with the Head of the Convention Secretariat Dr Vera Da Costa e Silva who is hopeful Nigeria will make considerable progress regarding the implementation of the WHO FCTC.