A statement released on Monday by the Federal Competitive Consumer Protection Commission revealed that tobacco-related diseases are responsible for over 26,800 deaths in Nigeria each year. Surprisingly, despite this alarming statistic, there are approximately 4.5 million Nigerians aged 15 and older who continue to use tobacco. During the ceremonial lunch event titled ‘Don’t burn their future’, the FCCPC’s acting Executive Vice Chairman, Adamu Abdullahi, made a statement with regard to tobacco control advocacy.
Adamu Abdullahi was given the role of acting Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Federal Competitive Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) recently when President Bola Tinubu dismissed Babatunde Irukera, the current EVC. During the event, Abdullahi addressed the crowd and mentioned that the objective of the campaign was to tackle the alarming rise in the consumption of substances among young individuals and minors. Moreover, he highlighted that this initiative is also aimed at minimising the adverse effects on society.
FG is committed to advancing tobacco following global standards.
He emphasised that good health encompasses various elements, such as physical, mental, and social well-being, highlighting its ever-changing nature. In his statement, he emphasised the significance of shared accountability among individuals and communities and a prioritised healthcare system to promote a healthier future for young people. Expanding on his thoughts, Abdullahi underlined the grave dangers associated with teenage tobacco consumption. These risks encompass detrimental impacts on brain development, respiratory issues, and an elevated dependencies on nicotine.
The acting FCCPC commended the proactive measures taken by the Federal Government, which encompassed passing the National Tobacco Control Act in 2015. He placed great importance on the government’s dedication to creating a smoke-free environment and fulfilling global responsibilities in accordance with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. He claims that the campaign goes beyond mere warnings and instead emphasises a cooperative strategy with civil society organisations in order to offer counselling support to individuals aiming to quit smoking.
Prof. Muhammad Pate expressed his endorsement of the FCCPC’s initiative.
Incorporating a smoke-free approach that promotes assistance and continued guidance, Abdullahi highlighted the establishment of toll-free helplines as a means to close the divide towards a future untainted by tobacco. Resonating national aspirations for tobacco control, Prof. Muhammad Pate, the Minister of Health, expressed his endorsement of the FCCPC’s initiative. More so, Abdullahi was represented at the occasion by Dr. Malau Toma, Chairman of the Federal Ministry of Health’s Tobacco Control Unit. Substances, as highlighted by him, greatly heighten the chances of developing noncommunicable diseases like hypertension, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
According to his statement, the global mortality rate exceeds eight million annually, of which over seven million can be attributed to direct tobacco consumption, while approximately 1.2 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to secondhand smoke. Mr. Babatunde Irukera, who formerly served as the EVC of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), stressed the importance of safeguarding individuals from the harmful repercussions of cigarette smoking, highlighting that it is not merely an occurrence but a fundamental cause.
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In related news, Abdullahi, while delivering a speech at a gathering, highlighted the initiative’s purpose of tackling the concern of an increase in the accessibility of tobacco products to young individuals and minors. Furthermore, he stressed that this endeavour aimed to mitigate the negative consequences on society. He underscored the all-encompassing nature of sound health, encompassing physical well-being and mental and social well-being. He highlights that creating a healthier future for the youth requires the joint effort of individuals, communities, and a healthcare system that places them as a priority.