FCCPC Launches “Don’t Burn Their Future” Campaign To Combat Rising Youth Tobacco Use

FCCPC Launches
FCCPC Launches "Don't Burn Their Future" Campaign To Combat Rising Youth Tobacco Use

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Monday launched the “Don’t Burn Their Future” campaign at the Civic Centre, Lagos.

BrandSpur Nigeria reports that the campaign aims to address the alarming increase in young and underage access to tobacco products and its detrimental impact on society.

Don’t Burn Their Future, focuses on safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the nation’s youth.

Speaking at the launch, the Acting Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Adamu Ahmed Abdullahi in his keynote emphasized the comprehensive nature of sound health, encompassing physical, mental, and social dimensions, and highlighted the societal benefits of a healthy populations.

“The “Don’t Burn Their Future” campaign stresses the risks associated with youth tobacco use, emphasizing the need for preventive measures to discourage early initiation into smoking.

“The initiative will engage various segments of society, including tobacco smokers, non-smoking adults, families, and retailers. By enlisting retailers as agents of change, strictly verifying the age of those seeking tobacco products, the campaign aims to create a tobacco-free environment and fulfill Nigeria’s obligations under international agreements”.

The acting FCCPC chairman expressed the Federal Government’s unwavering commitment to curbing tobacco use, citing Nigeria’s signing and ratification of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2005. Despite implementing the National Tobacco Control Act in 2015, the rising tide of underage access to tobacco necessitates a renewed and robust campaign.

He said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria supports this project one hundred per cent. The government is steadfast in its commitment to curbing tobacco use and advancing tobacco control initiatives. This commitment is underscored by Nigeria’s signing and ratification of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) as far back as 2005. Notably, Nigeria stands out as the first country in the African Region to successfully implement the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), aligning with Article 20 of the WHO FCTC, which mandates countries to monitor tobacco use”.

Further speaking, Prof Muhammad Ali Pate, Minister of Health, noted that campaign by the FCCPC is 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.

He 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.

Dr Malau Toma, Chairman Tobacco Control Unit, Federal Ministry of Health, 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.

She praised the initiative for enhancing awareness of the need to protect the young from the harmful effects of tobacco.

In closing, Mr Babatunde Irukera, immediate past EVC of the FCCPC, stressed the duty to protect people from the harmful effects of tobacco, highlighting that it is not just an event but a cause.

The “Don’t Burn Their Future” campaign sets the stage for a series of symposiums, lectures, hangouts, and meetings with young people nationwide, reinforcing the message for a tobacco-free future.