In line with the present administration’s policy on public health for Nigerians especially the youth, the Honourable Minister of Youth Development, Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim has called for the need to build a strong partnership with private organisations to discourage tobacco use by the youth.
The Minister made this call in her office while granting audience to a delegation led by the Regional Programme Director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, ( CTFK), Bintou Camara Bityeki that paid her a courtesy visit.
Dr. Ibrahim said research has shown that tobacco kills about 8 million people annually, and most of them are not active smokers but passive ones. She stressed the need to take all necessary steps that will discourage the use of it.
The Minister added that the Ministry will focus on adolescent health as part of its functions, knowing that some of them already fall within the age bracket of the youth while others are going to grow to become part of it
Dr. Ibrahim promised to engage with the NYSC to see that the menace of public smoking in its camps across the nation is put to a stop.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the team, Bintou Camara Bityeki argued that tobacco is the gateway to other drugs that generate negative consequences such as mental health problems and early deaths among the youth.
She said that her organisation in partnership with World Health Organisation (WHO), is working towards enacting a strong tobacco control law.
She however noted that enacting the law is not the most important thing but ensuring its implementation and enforcement, especially among the young people who are targeted by the tobacco companies.
Speaking further on the activities of CTFK, one of the members of the delegation Mr. Michael Olaniyan noted that though there are existing laws such as the prohibition of smoking in public and work places, his prganisation is more focused on the ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship especially in the entertainment industry.
He said, “We see alot of tobacco use in movies and musical videos that target the young people, encouraging them to take up this deadly habit, that is why we are doing a lot of work with the youth to discourage it.”
Another member of the delegation, Maryam Ahmed expressed concern over the flagrant smoking of tobacco in NYSC camps across the country in violation of existing laws and called on the Minister to take action against it.
Maryam Umar Yusuf
Picture 1: L- R: Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim; Hon. Minister of Youth Development; Bintou Camara Bityeki, Regional Director, Tobaco Control Program and Maryam Ahmed of GATEFIELD during the courtesy call on the Minister in her office today, 27th October.2023.