Stakeholders including civil society organisations (CSOs), activists, media practitioners and others have urged the Federal Government to implement global standard taxation and excise control measures on consumption of tobacco products in the country.
They demanded enforcement of between 50 and 70 per cent tax and excise duties on tobacco products in Nigeria, as obtainable in other climes.
Rising from a workshop on “Tobacco Tax and Control Measure Advocacy,” organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in Owerri, Imo State, they attributed the high risk and health conditions, especially lungs-associated problems, to the high consumption of tobacco products, lamenting that the current 15 per cent tax in Nigeria was not enough.
They warned smokers and other consumers of tobacco products to be mindful of similar symptoms with COVID-19, which, they said, were also prone to attacking the lungs.
The participants lamented that tobacco manufacturers now target teenagers with all kinds of flavoured brands in a bid to lure them into consuming their products.
Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, who was represented by an official of the group, Adesina Oke, said the Forum of Tobacco Taxation on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), as a tool for reducing consumption of tobacco products was timely.
He stressed the need for participants to engage support for tobacco control measures, price and tax mechanisms for effective regulation of the products being churned out by tobacco industry giants.