By Jessica Onyegbula
Tobacco-Free Club, UniAbuja chapter (TFC), a non-governmental organisation, has called on smokers to quit smoking to keep them away from non-communicable diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Mr Emmanuel Oluma, the president of the organisation, who made the call at a rally on Thursday in Abuja, explained that smokers were liable to die young.
Oluma, represented by Mr Izang Lawrence, the secretary of the organisation said that the aim of the rally was to advise the smokers to stop smoking.
Izang said that the club also targeted those who were not in the smoking habit to encourage them not to smoke
He said “Tobacco-Free Nigeria’’ rally was also aimed at educating Nigerians on the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act and raise awareness on the dangers of tobacco smoking.
“We want the prohibition of the sale of tobacco products to and by anyone below age 18, and ban of sale of cigarettes in single sticks.
“We need prohibition of smoking anywhere we have a child care facility, educational facility and health facility.
“Other prohibited area for smoking include playground, amusement parks and other public gathering spaces.
“We also want prohibition of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship of any kind,” he said.
He further explained that cancer was common in people who smoke cigarettes because tobacco smoking posed a risk of 2.5 per cent compared to the other risk factors.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that tobacco use is currently responsible for the death of about six million people annually across the world with 80 per cent of these deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries such as Nigeria.
“This includes about 600,000 people who are also estimated to die from the effects of second-hand smoke,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the campaign is supported by the Federal Ministry of Health and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Washington and Gatefield Impact.