'No-Smoking' sign

Youths to Lagos Govt: Provide smoke-free public spaces

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A youth-led initiative, known as Protecting and Activating Communities Against Tobacco (PACT), has urged the Lagos State Government to take decisive action in providing smoke-free public spaces to uphold the provisions of the Tobacco Control Act of 2015.

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George Adjete, the Lagos Lead Officer of PACT, stated the importance of implementing measures to ensure a smoke-free future, including the prohibition of smoking in public areas and the installation of smoke-free signage.

This call to action was reiterated during the CleanAirNaija Stakeholders’ meeting organized in Lagos, to bolster the enforcement of the tobacco control legislation.

The National Tobacco Control Act of 2015 encompasses various regulations covering smoke-free zones, tobacco advertising, sponsorship, packaging, and labelling.

Citing reports indicating Nigeria’s alarming statistics regarding secondhand smoke-related deaths, Mr Adjete highlighted the urgent need for creating smoke-free environments in Lagos, especially given the city’s status as a pioneering member of C40 Cities, a global network focused on combating climate change and promoting environmental sustainability.

Stressing the detrimental effects of tobacco smoke as a harmful pollutant, Mr Adjete stressed the imperative for government officials to collaborate with young people in enforcing anti-tobacco laws, particularly in public spaces within the state.

He highlighted the critical role of smoke-free areas in safeguarding public health and fostering economic growth.

Additionally, Lana Promise, President of the Lagos State University Medical Students Association, spotlighted the importance of collaboration between government agencies responsible for enforcing tobacco regulations and youth-led initiatives to ensure effective implementation.

Babatunde Ajayi, the General Manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, mentioned the ongoing efforts by the state government, including youth engagement and public awareness campaigns, as part of comprehensive measures to address tobacco control.

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