The House of Representatives said on Wednesday that it would not place a ban on smoking of tobacco in the country by law, but was seeking to regulate its production, packaging and mode of promotion.
The clarification came from the Joint House Committee on Health/Justice as it opened a public hearing on 11 health-related bills, including the tobacco smoking bill in Abuja.
The Lead Chairman of the committee and Peoples Democratic Party lawmaker from Delta State, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu, told stakeholders at the session that the clarification became necessary because of speculation making the rounds that the House was about to place a total ban on tobacco smoking.
Elumelu explained, “The major aim of this bill is to provide a legal framework for the control of the production, manufacture, sale, labeling, advertising, promotion, sponsorship, use of tobacco products and exposure to tobacco smoke in order to promote the health of the individual.”
The title of the bill is, “Bill for an Act to Enact the Tobacco Smoking (Control) Bill to among other things Provide for the Regulation of the Production, Importation, Advertising, Promotion, Sponsorship, Distribution, Sale and Designation of Areas where Tobacco Products may and may not be smoked and for Matters Connected therewith, 2013.”