FG urged to fight shisha, snuff, others with graphic health warnings

Medical experts and Civil Society Organisations have called on the Federal Government to fully implement the graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging and labelling.

According to them, this is an effective way to spread awareness about the risks associated with tobacco products, reduce consumption, and be helpful for those with limited literacy skills.

Newsmen observed that in Nigeria, while there are some graphic warnings on cigarettes, there are none for other tobacco products like shisha, snuff, and snus, among others.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation mandated the parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to put in place policies on tobacco product packaging to provide health warnings describing the harmful effects of tobacco use.

While the 2024 yearly graphic warnings will begin in June 2024, experts and CSOs urge the FG to implement graphic health warnings on 60 per cent of display areas of tobacco products, including shisha and others.

Speaking with newsmen, a public health consultant at the University of Ibadan, Francis Fagbule noted that labelling and graphic health warnings on tobacco products are meant to be according to the law.

Fagbule said findings have shown that graphic health warnings have helped people quit taking tobacco products.

A former Chairman of the Association of Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, Dr Tunji Akintade, said every consumable should be regularised under a strict administration law.

“All these things are drugs, as far as I’m concerned because it alters your physiology from one state to the other. Snuff, shisha, marijuana, or Colorado must be regulated. Even the adverts on social media for these products should be regularised.

“I advocate that the government’s regulatory body should look at the contents of these things and implement the graphic health warnings and labelling on them,” Dr Akintade said.

The Executive Director of Renevlyn Development Initiative, Philip Jakpor said Nigeria should adhere strictly to WHO’s recommendations to discourage young people who are impressionable from taking up the habit.

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