(Deji Abdulwahab, NAN)
The National Tobacco Control Committee says it will enforce the National Tobacco Control Act and Regulations to discourage Nigerian youths from smoking at an early age.
The committee Chairman, Dr Bridget Okoeguale, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja that the committee would also focus on health issues of adolescence.
NAN recalls that the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had on Wednesday inaugurated the committee to implement the new gazetted 2019 National Tobacco Control Act and Regulations.
Okoeguale, a former Director, Department of Public Health in the Federal Ministry of Health, said: “In the ministry, adolescent health in the family plays a very important role.
“This is because we are trying to target youths and make sure that they don’t smoke at an early age.
“We want to appeal to the Minister of Health to ensure that the budget for Non-Communicable Disease Division is released to carry out our operations.
“When I was there, the division was having some funds; but, I’m told that for the past three years, they have not received any money to carry out their operations.
“If we can have our fund every year, we will be able to do our programmes.”
NAN recalls that members of the committee were drawn from the Federal Ministries of Health, Environment, Justice, Education and Agriculture.
Others include representatives from the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS); National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON); and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
They are Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC): Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); and the Civil Society Organisation (CSO).