Expert calls for implementation of policies on tobacco consumption

A Clinical Psychologist, Dr Adedotun Ajiboye, says the Federal Government needs to implement policies and programmes that reduce tobacco consumption and protect citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke.

Ajiboye who works with the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

He was speaking against the backdrop of the World No Tobacco Day 2024 marked annually on May 31 with the theme ‘Protecting Children from the Tobacco Industry Interference.’

Ajiboye said tobacco was one of the top single greatest causes of preventable deaths globally.

He said smoking could lead to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), cancer of the lungs, larynx, and mouth pancreatic cancer; and hypertension.

Ajiboye said the Nicotine in cigarettes could lead to addiction or substance use disorder adding that tobacco was a significant cause of miscarriages among pregnant smokers.

‘Tobacco can lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), t
he fetal brain’s ability may be reduced when exposed to cigarettes.

‘ Incidence of impotence is approximately 85 per cent higher in male smokers compared to male non – smokers.

He said smoking was a key factor in causing erectile dysfunction, adding that tobacco smoking led most commonly to disease affecting the heart , liver, lungs, etc.

‘Based on the health effects revealed above, the government has a huge role to play in reducing preventable deaths caused by tobacco by implementing policies and programmes that reduce tobacco consumption.

‘Also implementing policies that protect citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke.’

Ajiboye suggested some key roles of government to include tobacco taxation, by raising taxes on tobacco products to make them less affordable and reduce consumption.

He said the government should enact laws that prohibit smoking in public places, workplaces, and public transportation, and implement standards for tobacco products, such as warning labels and ingredient disclosure.

ye said that there should also be awareness campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco use and providing resources and support for individuals trying to quit tobacco.

‘There should be youth access restrictions by enacting laws to prevent the sale of tobacco products to minors.

‘There should be monitoring and surveillance by the government through collection of data on tobacco use and related health effects to inform policy decisions.

‘Regulation of tobacco advertising by restricting or banning tobacco advertising to prevent promotion to youth and others.’

He said the government should also support tobacco research by funding research on tobacco use and its health effects to inform policy and treatment development.

The clinical psychologist said the federal government should collaborate with other countries to share best practices and coordinate efforts to reduce global tobacco use.

‘By taking these steps, the government can effectively reduce the health impacts of tobacco and protect c
itizens’ health.’

Ajiboye said World No Tobacco Day 2024 is a vital global event aimed at highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

He said this year’s theme emphasised protecting children from the tobacco industry’s practices, ensuring a healthier future for the next generation.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria