By Austin Erameh
The Cross Rivers State Ministry of Environment has said the associated risks to tobacco use remained endemic increasing burdens on public resources.
This disclosure was made by Mr. Samuel Njar representing the Ministry at the recently concluded ‘Expanded Workshop for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in South-South Nigeria’ organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) under the aegis of African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) in Calabar, Cross Rivers state.
Speaking from environmental perspective at the Workshop, Mr. Njar identified tobacco as a major challenge to public resources, noting that a considerable amount of resources is currently being spent by the Ministry in addressing environmental challenges of which tobacco is a priority.
Also, the State Ministry of Health, represented Dr. Mrs Virginia O. Inah, added that the health risks associated with tobacco use makes it a major concern for the Ministry and Cross Rivers State Government.
Dr. Inah acknowledged the efforts of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for continued support and awareness creation on the harmful effects of tobacco use and counselling and support.
The workshop discussed, extensively, the National Tobacco Control Act of 2015 and other related initiatives at state levels primarily to introduce policy and law, where there are none and advance effective implementation where they exist.
More importantly, a dedicated session of the Workshop introduced participants to tactics deployed by Tobacco Industries to floor tobacco control policy and law, underscoring the need for actors to be vigilant using monitoring techniques introduced to them.