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Minister Insists On Higher Taxes For Tobacco Companies

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Minister of Health, ISaac Adewole, poses with the 'Tobacco-free kids' campaigners
Minister of Health, ISaac Adewole, poses with the ‘Tobacco-free kids’ campaigners

Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has maintained his stance that tobacco companies should pay more in taxes as a way of discouraging the habit of smoking by majority of Nigerians.

The minister made this known when he received a delegation of anti-tobacco campaigners in his office in Abuja on Wednesday.

Adewole noted that the revenue which will be generated from increased taxes on tobacco industries can be used to fund other health initiatives of the federal government.

“Tobacco tax was used to fund Universal Health Coverage in Thailand. We need your advice on how to raise the tax,” he told his visitors whose campaign is named ‘Tobacco-Free Kids”.

He revealed that the fight against tobacco usage was personal to him as tobacco usage accounts for almost all cases of lung cancer and other related diseases.

“I have personal and official reasons for fighting tobacco. It is important to keep people from it while those who want to smoke will pay,” the minister said.

“Data shows (that) it is almost impossible to find someone with lung cancer without smoking history either active or passive.”

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The minister said that the war against tobacco usage must be fought collectively and not left for government alone as the tobacco industry is being controlled by powerful people.

“We must not underrate the power of the tobacco industry and the resources available to it. It is a battle we must fight together.”

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll around the world.

“Tobacco use kills more than 6 million people annually, 30 percent of whom will die from cancer-related diseases due to smoking,” according to an information on the cancer website, www.cancer.org

“If current trends continue, tobacco use will kill 8 million people annually by 2030, 83 percent of whom reside in low- and middle-income countries.”

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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