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FG to eradicate smoking among children

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment to combating the use of tobacco and smoking among children.

Dr. Jamila Ibrahim, Minister of Youth and Development, stated this on Friday when she received Ms. Bintou Camara, Regional Director, Tobacco Control Programme Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, in her Abuja office.

According to Ibrahim, tobacco use among minors is a major problem in the country.

According to the minister, Nigeria must partner and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to educate Nigerians about the health consequences of tobacco smoking among young people.

“We will focus on adolescent health. It is the area where we need to be proactive in putting mechanisms in place to achieve a preventive approach to tobacco smoking among kids.

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“We must work with the act that bans tobacco smoking in public places, especially to prevent secondhand smoke,” she said.

Also speaking, Camara noted that the organisation was in the country to campaign and educate Nigerians on the dangers of tobacco smoking.

“We are the leading advocacy organisation in the world that advocates against tobacco smoking.

“We are focusing on tobacco control. Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths, which is why it is important that we tackle tobacco prevention,” she said.

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To protect their revenues, tobacco corporations, she claims, target young people.

Camara stated that tobacco control was critical because the globe was confronting a great opponent that could have an impact on public health issues.

She stated that the charity had been working for more than 25 years to educate young people about the dangers of tobacco use.

“The organisation has fought to protect children and save lives from causes of preventable death.

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“Our vision is a future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco because tobacco has killed enough,” Camara said.

She stated that Nigeria was the most important market in Africa and that it has the most beautiful, powerful, and strong young people on the continent.

“The most important thing for us is to raise awareness and educate youths on the consequences of tobacco use.

“Tobacco smoking has killed eight million people a year, and out of that number, 1.2 million die from secondhand smoke, which means you don’t have to be a smoker. You can die from it or suffer from it whether you want it or not,” she said.

Camara stated that the government had enacted the tobacco smoking ban, emphasising the importance of implementation and enforcement, particularly for young people.

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She regarded tobacco as a gateway drug to other drugs with bad repercussions such as mental health, loss of productive life, loss of good health, and loss of education, among others.

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