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April 19, 2024

Tobacco Consumption: CISLAC Urges Jigawa Government to Localize Laws as Nigeria Maintains Leading Position

From Mika’il Tsoho, Dutse

In an effort to save thousands of lives, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), supported by Tax Justice Network Africa, has called on the Jigawa State government to domesticate national laws and policies on tobacco usage, tailoring them to the context of Jigawa to protect the lives of its citizens.

The call was made by CISLAC’s Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, represented by Muhammad Murtala, during a one-day stakeholders’ engagement held at three-star hotel in Dutse.

Rafsanjani emphasized that as Nigeria continues its tobacco control efforts, extending the advocacy to Jigawa state is crucial to saving the lives of thousands of youths in the state.

He highlighted the use of tobacco as one of the leading causes of death and stressed the importance of advocating for effective tobacco tax systems to reduce tobacco consumption in Jigawa state.

“Tobacco use remains the leading cause of death resulting from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), directly linked to a high burden of cancer, heart diseases, and stroke. Nigeria, being the most populous country in Africa, has one of the leading tobacco markets, with over 18 billion cigarettes sold annually,” he stated.

Rafsanjani pointed out that Nigeria has about 13 million smokers, with over 16,000 deaths attributable to smoking.

He identified tobacco control measures, including the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), recognizing tax and price measures as the most cost-effective tool for tobacco control.

This measure reduces affordability, especially among low-income earners, and decreases children’s initiation into smoking.

Highlighting the win-win nature of this tool for public health and government revenue, Rafsanjani explained that it contributes to reducing tobacco affordability while enhancing government revenue generation.

To achieve this goal, CISLAC has been building the capacity of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in their role in tobacco control, strategizing and advocating to raise the price of tobacco.

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Mustapha Salisu

Mustapha Salisu is a graduate of BSc. Information and Media Studies from Bayero University Kano, with experience in Communication Skills as well as Public Relations.

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