Says tobacco companies in Nig make more profits, pay less tax
By Steve Oko
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has urged the federal government to increase taxation on tobacco products, arguing that tobacco companies in Nigeria make more profits but pay less tax.
CISLAC Programme Manager, Mr. Okeke Anya, who made the call during a training to enlighten media professionals in Abia on tobacco taxation, argued that the measure would help discourage tobacco consumption.
He expressed concern over the grave health hazzards of tobacco consumption, saying that increase in taxation will help minimise health consequences associated with tobacco consumption.
Mr. Anya also expressed displeasure at the laxity in enforcing tobacco control laws, a development he said had led to loss of huge revenue by government.
He therefore, called for strict enforcement of laws on tobacco sales and consumption, as enshrined in the Nigeria Tobacco Control Regulation of 2019.
The CISLAC Programme Manager advised tobacco consumers against addiction to the product because of its hazardous health implications.
He also charged parents and guardians to watch their children and wards very closely as tobacco companies have innovated new ways of packaging the harmful product.
According to him, processed tobacco contains about 7000 most of which are cancerous.
He also said that second hand smoking (staying around a tobacco smoker and inhaling the smoke); and third hand smoking ( coming into an environment few2where cigarette was smoked), had grave health consequences.
He said that any amount of exposure to tobacco is harmful, and advised consumers and those around them to take necessary precautions.
Programme Officer of CISLAC, Solomon Adoga, educated participants at the workshop on the role of the media in tobacco control and the use of digital advocacy tools for tobacco taxation campaigns.
Earlier in a remark, the Executive Director of Initiative for Ideal development and Emancipatory Leadership, IDEAL Nigeria, Pastor Innocent Nwokocha, said the training was organized to educate media practitioners in Abia on tobacco taxation.
This, he explained, was part of the holistic strategy for tobacco control.