By Adeola Ogunrinde
In a resolute effort to safeguard the health and future of Nigeria’s youth, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has launched the “Don’t Burn Their Future” campaign in Lagos.
The acting Executive Vice Chairman of the FCCPC, Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, who gave the keynote remarks at the launching emphasised the dynamic nature of sound health.
“The campaign underscores the collective responsibility of individuals, communities, and a prioritised healthcare system in fostering a healthier future for the youth”, said Abdullahi.
Abdullahi highlighted the grave risks associated with youth tobacco use, ranging from impacts on brain development to respiratory issues and increased nicotine dependence.
He revealed that 4.5 million Nigerians aged 15 and above are tobacco users, with more than 26,800 annual deaths attributed to tobacco-related diseases.
Abdullahi commended the proactive measures taken by the federal government.
He emphasised the government’s commitment to creating a smoke-free environment and fulfilling international obligations under the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Prof Muhammad Ali Pate, noted that campaign by the FCCPC was in alignment with the national objective on tobacco control.
He explained that among other issues, tobacco is a major risk factor for non communicable diseases like hypertension, stroke, cancers, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
Pate revealed that more than eight million deaths every year worldwide, with over seven million of these deaths occurring as a result of direct tobacco use while about 1.2 million from non-smokers exposure to second-hand smoke.
Chairman Tobacco Control Unit, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Malau Toma, who represented the Minister, highlighted the significant health and economic toll of tobacco consumption, reinforcing the need for a departure from irresponsible tobacco use.
The campaign received accolades from Dr. Bridget Okoeguale, Chairman, National Tobacco Control Committee (NATOCC), a multisectoral tobacco control committee established by law.