‘Arrest Anyone Caught Smoking Shisha’ – Minister of Health tells police

Isaac Adewole, the minister of health, says the police should arrest defaulters of the ban on tobacco products including Shisha.

Speaking on Monday in Abuja at a press conference to mark the 2018 World No-Tobacco Day, Adewole said the ban placed on tobacco products is still in place.

May 31 is celebrated as No-Tobacco Day across the world to discourage the use of tobacco products.

“Let me stress that the ban on tobacco products with characterising flavours is still in place and the ban includes shisha because it has flavour,” he said. “I, therefore, urge the Consumer Protection Council and the law enforcement agencies to intensify arrest of defaulters.”

According to the British Heart Foundation, Shisha smoking is a way of smoking tobacco, sometimes mixed with fruit or molasses sugar, through a bowl and hose or tube.

Babatunde Irukera, director general of the CPC, said Standards Organisation of Nigeria has set up a technical committee to look into the issue of Shisha and make recommendations to tackle the matter.

He added that No fewer than 20 billion sticks of cigarettes are consumed annually in Nigeria, Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole said yesterday.

Adewole noted that 4.5 million adults, which is 5.6 per cent of the population, presently use tobacco products. About 82 per cent of the entire population are exposed to second-hand smoke when visiting bars/night clubs.

He noted that 6.4 million adults (29.3 per cent) are exposed to second hand smoking when visiting restaurants. Adewole spoke yesterday at a news briefing organised to mark the 2018 World No-Tobacco Day celebration in Abuja.

The minister added that a recent studies among University of Abuja undergraduates revealed that 33.3 per cent of the students are smokers.

Adewole said the country is losing $800 million annually to stroke, heart disease and diabetes. In 2015, the minister said the country’s projected accumulated loss to tobacco was put at $7.6 billion, paradoxically.

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