By Ogar Monday
Tobacco control advocacy took centre stage last week when the Civil Society Legislative Center (CISLAC) organized a one day workshop on “Effective Tobacco Control” for Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) based in the Nigerian South South region.
The training, aimed at equipping non-governmental organizations in the regions on tackling issues of tobacco control advocacy, held in Calabar, the Cross River State capital with the Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Musa in his presentation pointing out that tobacco which contained over 4,000 chemicals which are mostly lethal to both primary and secondary consumers, claimed about six million lives worldwide.
“Tobacco consumption has remained one of the leading causes of preventable deaths globally and that tobacco use is singularly responsible for over six million deaths worldwide,” said Auwal who was represented by Mr. Okeke Anya.
He warned that if nothing is done to reverse the trend it will claim more casualties especially as addiction has made it difficult for those people to stop smoking even if they want to.
Lamenting the non-implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015, Auwal said that most states were yet to work towards the domestication of the act even as the tobacco companies were not sleeping on their oars, as they are known to engage in aggressive “tobacco industry interference” to push their product and agenda.
Participants at the workshop agreed that there was a need to assess and domesticate the national law by the South-South State, to integrate tobacco awareness into school curriculum for schools amongst others.