Tobacco-Free Club urges smokers to quit smoking, save system 

By Regina Onyegbula

Tobacco-Free Club, University of Abuja chapter (TFC), an NGO, has called on smokers to quit smoking and save their system from non-communicable diseases like cancer or heart disease.

Emmanuel Oluma, President, TFC, who made the call at a ''Breathe campaign rally on Thursday in Abuja stressed that smokers were liable to die young.

Oluma who was represented by Izang Lawrence, Secretary, TFC, said that the aim of the campaign was to get smokers to stop smoking.

Izang said that the club also targeted those who were not in the smoking habit to encourage them not to start smoking at all.

He said that “Tobacco-Free Nigeria’’ campaign also aims to educate Nigerians on the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act and raise awareness on the dangers of tobacco smoke.

''We want the prohibition of the sale of tobacco products to and by anyone below age 18 and ban of sale of cigarettes in single sticks.

''Prohibition of smoking in anywhere on the premises of a child care facility, educational facility and health facility. other prohibited area for smoking include playground, amusement parks and other public gathering spaces.

''Prohibition of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship of any kind," he said.

Izang said that smoking increases the risk of Colon Cancer in an individual by 2.5 per cent.

He further explained that it is common in people who smoke cigarettes because tobacco poses a risk of 2.5 percent compared to the other risk factors.

“The WHO estimates that tobacco use is currently responsible for the death of about six million people annually across the world with 80 per cent of these deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries like Nigeria.

“This includes about 600,000 people who are also estimated to die from the effects of secondhand smoke,” he said.

The campaign is supported by the Federal Ministry of Health and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Washington DC and Gatefield Impact.