A report unveiled by the Nigerian Tobacco Control Research Group (NTCRG) and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria titled ‘Big Tobacco Tiny Targets’, has shown how tobacco sales have been brought to 100-meter proximity to schools environment, therefore enticing Nigeria school children to it.
The research sampled 221 schools in cities like Kaduna, Enugu, Ibadan, Lafia and Lagos concludes with evidence which showed a pattern in the sale of tobacco products within 100 metres of school environments, linking the trend to leading tobacco firms in the country.
The research which was presented at St John Church Hall, Yemetu, Ibadan, by Dr. Adebiyi Akindele the lead researcher over the weekend condemns the systematic targeting of youths through visual appeal, stressing that the practice contravenes article 16 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC ), which prohibits the sale of tobacco products in any manner that makes them directly accessible to minors.
The research report reads in part.
“ The delay in the implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 with provisions banning the placement of tobacco products at educational establishments and access of youths to tobacco products is particularly worrisome and if this situation is not quickly checked, we may likely experience an increase in the number of tobacco users as predicted by the WHO.
“The enforcement of the comprehensive prohibition of tobacco advertising and sponsorship including point of sales and product display should be enhanced by the National Assembly, urgently approving regulations guiding the implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 .
“The Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Education should work together to ban the location of point of sales of tobacco products within 100m of all schools.
This should be enforced at state and local government levels by state Ministries of Education and local education authorities.”