The Minister of state for Health, Dr Muhammad Ali Pate, has lamented the absence of a robust Tobacco Bill for the country, which he said, could have regulated the use of tobacco and thus help in the prevention of non communicable diseases.
He disclosed yesterday at the commemoration of the World Health Day in Abuja, that the ministry was working with the National Assembly on the pending bill, which has undergone second reading.
Pate who noted that Nigeria’s population is predominantly youths and the aging population, expressed worry that if the youths of today imbibe the culture of smoking, then the rise of non communicable diseases in the country is imminent.
He said, “Tobacco Bill is key. It’s one of the important legacies we can bequeath to Nigerians before the next World Health Day. It will prevent needless deaths and diseases in future.”
The minister?? who disclosed that there is an executive version of the bill which is stronger and which the ministry was strongly working on to see to its fruition, took a swipe at the labeling and packaging of cigarettes, presently in the market.