Monday, January 14, 2008

Smoking ban in Nigeria

The Federal Govt is suing three peddlers of death for UK22bn. The case is due to start soon in Abuja. A smoking ban in all public spaces in each prosecuting state (and then all states) would be a good starting point. Its such a joy to go into pubs, bars and clubs in London these days, without getting your throat messed up and your clothes impregnated with smoke and toxic chemicals from cigarettes in the process.

It would be also be a nice idea if those working for BAT and co in Nigeria start to leak documents which prove conclusively that they are targetting children/underage smokers. Pressure should also be put on Oyo State govt to close the BAT factory in Ibadan down, with well thought-out plans for alternative employment for the workers.

Thanks Indar for the link.


Mukoro.,  4:38 pm  

This sounds a bit hypocritical to me.. After 4 years of 'globe trotting', the Obasanjo govt. had just the BAT factory in Ibadan to show as the result of 'foreign investment'. The factory was even 'commissioned' with govt. officials in attendance.

Can somebody tell me whats wrong here??

I just dont think we should send conflicting signals - welcome Zimbambwean farmers to plant tobacco crops, encourage BAT to setup factories with the promise that it'll 'create jobs', then sue them for some $$$ down the line..

By the way, I dont smoke, and detest tobacco.

Anengiyefa 6:24 pm  

It is refreshing to see the Nigerian government for once show some concern for the well being of the country's citizens. However, I cannot but feel a bit cynical when I hear the leading prosecutor for the government suggesting that an out-of-court settlement is the likely outcome...suggesting to me that it is the MONEY that the government and its cohorts are really after.

If there is a healthcare system in Nigeria, it has been largely neglected by successive governments, and for several decades. To now blame large tobacco companies for overburdening a neglected and already fatally crippled healthcare system seems to me curious, and a rather sorry attempt by the government to pass the buck for its failure to ensure that every Nigerian citizen has access to basic healthcare.

Nigerians are dying needlessly from diseases that are not related to smoking, in greater numbers than those those who die of smoking related ailments. Who next shall the government look to blame (or to sue) for their failures? GBP22billion is a collossal amount of money. Why do I not believe that any settlement payment received from British American Tobacco, Philip Morris and International Tobacco Limited will go the same way that over $200billion that the government has squandered over the last two decades has gone?

Why should I expect that because the government has received this money from tobacco companies, our healtcare system will be less overburdened when HIV/AIDS is rampaging accoss the land unhindered?

Sandrine,  6:48 pm  


Smoking is not the issue.Smocking in public places and targeting kids are.I don't smoke either.I have nothing against people that do, however if I go out to a nice restaurant, I do not want to smell somebody else's cigarette when I try to enjoy my dinner.Also I am against commercials that are targeting kids by saying or implying that smoking is cool.


McG 6:57 pm  

This could truly be a historical step if Nigeria were to implement it. What was once a mind-boggling idea in California ten years ago has transformed society in a whole and absolute manner. Who would've ever thunk Paris, London and NYC would all be smoke free? It seems a bit surreal, but rarely do I hear any real complaints.

The Issue recently did an indepth feature on the Smoking Ban, culling from a variety of blogs posting on history, state's rights, individual rights, and eventual outcomes. A must read for anyone interested in learning more about smoking ban's.



The Issue |The Issue

Anonymous,  8:42 pm  

an out of court settlement does not mean it's purely about money. the terms of the settlement may restrict the offensive activities of the cigga companies. Besides, i don't think any of these cases went to trial, even in the US.

Jeremy, it's interesting to see you unwittingly admit lawyers are good for something besides having uncreative and fathead jobs

indar ph 8:42 pm  

Thanks Jeremy for blogging it.

Anengiyefa 11:43 pm  

Anonymous, you're correct. An out of court settlement does not have to be only about money. However, whatever the terms of that settlement may be, my argument remains that it is the Nigerian government that has failed to provide Nigerians with a viable healthcare system. It is simply annoying, even bordering on the ridiculous, that this same government is blaming the tobacco companies, or anybody else for that matter, for overburdening a healthcare system, a system that is so inadequate and which a large propotion of the population cannot even afford to access in any meaningful way.

indar ph 2:35 am  

"my argument remains that it is the Nigerian government that has failed to provide Nigerians with a viable healthcare system"

maybe.....but it's the British and other Western governments that buy doctors and nurses trained in Africa, and pay nothing for their training.

Anengiyefa 2:15 pm  

indar ph, in my view, the shambles that is the Nigerian healthcare system is the very reason why many Nigeian doctors and nurses go abroad to work. There is no running away from the fact that our government needs to invest massively in the health of the country's citizens. Then, and only then, can there be justification for this litigation being pursued against the tobacco companies.

And of course, I cannot envisage any form of out of court settlement that does not involve vast sums of money being paid to the Nigerian government by the tobacco companies.

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