The Ministry of Health has released a communiqué on enforcing the ban on smoking in public spaces including shopping malls, restaurants and bars, schools, and bus parks, Punch reports.
The ministry says the communique is in accordance with Section 9 of the Nigeria Tobacco Control Act 2015, which will henceforth be enforced, and offenders will be liable to pay a fine of not less than N50,000, or not less than six months’ imprisonment, or both.
“The World Health Organisation estimates that worldwide, second-hand tobacco smoke is currently responsible for the deaths of about 600,000 people yearly, 80 per cent of which occur in low-income and middle-income countries like Nigeria.
“Smoking in public places is now banned in Nigeria. Section 9 of the Nigeria Tobacco Control Act 2015 stipulates that offenders, once convicted, are liable to a fine of not less than N50,000 or not less than six months’ imprisonment, or both.
“Public places where smoking is prohibited by law in Nigeria include: child care facilities, educational facilities, health care facilities, playgrounds/amusement parks, public parks (gardens), stadia, restaurants/bars, public transportation parks and plazas.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is committed to the fight to ensure a tobacco-free Nigeria, and will in the weeks and months ahead actively collaborate with law enforcement agencies to ensure enforcement of the Act, and with the National Assembly to ensure that necessary supporting regulation is passed.”
Known as the Clean Air Campaign, it is supported by the Cancer Society of Nigeria, World Health Organisation, ONE Campaign, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Civil Society Organisations and the Tobacco Free Kids.