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Second-hand smoke responsible for non-communicable diseases – Minister




The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said that exposure to second-hand smoke from tobacco is a leading preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Ehanire said this on Monday in Abuja during a news briefing to mark the 2021 World “No Tobacco Day” with the theme “Commit to Quit”.

He listed some of the diseases as hypertension, stroke, cancers, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

Ehanire said that the objective of the day was to advocate strong tobacco cessation guidelines and programmes.

He said others were to promote increased access to tobacco cessation services such that at least 100 million tobacco users worldwide were offered help and empowered to make successful attempts to quit the use of tobacco.

According to him, it will help raise awareness on tobacco industry tactics.

Ehanire quoted the World Health Organisation data as saying:

“There are more than 1.3 billion tobacco users in the world, and that tobacco is in one way or another responsible for more than eight million deaths each year.

“Also more than seven million of which are as the result of direct tobacco use, while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being indirectly exposed to second-hand smoke”.

He said further that findings from the 2012 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) showed that 5.6 per cent Nigerians, 15 years and older, currently use tobacco products of which 3.9 per cent are smokers.

“The GATS result further shows that 45.4 per cent of the smokers had attempted to quit in the past 12 months prior to the survey, of which 61.1 per cent attempted to do so without any assistance.

“Also, 15 per cent tried counseling and 5.2 per cent tried pharmacotherapy.

“The death toll from tobacco is high in Nigeria as the Tobacco Atlas of 2018 report estimates more than 16,100 deaths from tobacco-related diseases every year.

The minister said that another research finding published in 2021 by the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa showed that 29,472 deaths in Nigeria were attributable to smoking.

Ehanire said that in other to tackle the tobacco menace Nigeria signed and ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

According to him, in furtherance of the WHO FCTC, Nigeria enacted the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and the National Tobacco Control Regulations 2019.

He said that the offer of support to quit tobacco use was one of the best buys in tobacco control measures, collectively called the MPOWER.

“M = Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies; P = Protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke; O = Offer help to quit tobacco use by tobacco cessation services.

“W = Warn people about the dangers of tobacco use; E = Enforce full ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and R = Raise excise taxes on tobacco products.’’

According to him, the ministry in collaboration with WHO and Nigeria Tobacco Alliance (NTCA), will be conducting some activities to help address tobacco issues.

He listed them as virtual tobacco cessation webinar and setting up a tobacco cessation toll-free call centre in the ministry to offer cessation services to tobacco users.

Others are: to set up a mobile tobacco cessation (mCessation) services, whereby tobacco users can access quit support using WhatsApp number +41 79893 1892.

He said it would also provide support to five States: Kano, Ogun, Imo, Edo and Bayelsa to organise the “World No Tobacco Day”.

“Beyond cessation services Nigeria will, as from June 23, start implementation of graphic pictorial health warning messages and tobacco product packaging to replace the age-long health warning texts.

“Increasing excise tax on tobacco products to make it more unaffordable is a strong way to discourage tobacco use. (NAN)

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Shaibu Relocates Office Out Of Edo Govt House



Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy Philip Shaibu
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy Philip Shaibu

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu has commenced the relocation of his office to an area outside the vicinity of the Government House.

The development follows last of Shuaibu’s suit filed at the Federal High Court to stop alleged plots by week’s withdrawal   the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to remove him from office.

The new office is situated at No. 7, Dennis Osadebey Avenue, close to the Government House.

Sources close to the deputy governor said  that a letter was sent by the Head of Service to the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor instructing her to supervise the movement of civil servants and files to the new office.

It was also gathered that the new office is not habitable as there is no electricity, is waterlogged, and the office spaces are significantly small.

The state government had however insisted that the deputy governor’s new office is within the confines of the area designated as the Government House.





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Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, other members of the Senate with NARD officials


••• Cancels Planned National Protest

Striking members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are set to call off their two week old strike after a closed door meeting with Principal Officers of the Senate on Tuesday.

Adressing the media shortly after the closed door meeting with President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio and other Principal Officers of the Senate, National President of the association, Dr Emeka Innocent Orji, stated “we had a very fruitful meeting with the Senate led by the President of the Senate and from our discussions with them, we are very hopeful that when we table our discussions today before the NEC, something positive would come out.

“From our interaction with the President of the Senate and the practical demonstration he did before us today, we are very confident that there would be light at the end of the tunnel in the next 24 hours.

“Because of the intervention of the President of the Senate, who is the number three citizen and the assurance he has given us, our planned national protest has been cancelled while the decision on the ongoing strike would be taken as soon we meet, he assured.

Speaking in the same vein, Senator Akpabio, thanked the medical doctors for honoring the Senate by calling off their planned national protest and also working towards calling off the strike.

According to him, ” I thank you onbehalf of the Senate for honoring us with your decision not only to cancel the planned public protest, but to also call off the strike in the interest of the suffering masses.

“Your demands are well noted and let me assure you that as soon as a Minister in charge of Health is appointed, the Senate will work with him or her to expeditiously adress all your grievances. The President Bola Tinubu-led administration is Doctors friendly and that explains the large number of medical practitioners he has appointed into his cabinet.

“Strike by medical practitioners should not be allowed even for a day because of the impacts it creates in the polity and that is why the Senate is determined to ensure through interactions and consultation with relevant offices, amicable settlement of the impasse is reached,” he stated.

President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio (3rd from left), Dr Emeka Innocent Orji (middle) Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele and Senator Ireti Kingibe (first from right)after a meeting with national officers of NARD in the office the President of the Senate on Tuesday.


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Nigerian-Made Noodles Safe To Eat, Says NAFDAC




The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified noodles manufactured in Nigeria, saying they are safe for consumption.

The confirmation followed the Agency’s investigation into the presence of ethylene oxide or its metabolite in noodles or their seasonings.

This was made known by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, during a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday.

She noted that ethylene oxide or its derivative was not found in any of the instant noodles produced in Nigeria and their seasonings which make them safe for consumption.

The NAFDAC boss also declared that the level of mycotoxin and the heavy metals were within the internationally acceptable limit.

“Therefore, the noodles made in Nigeria are very safe to eat,” she stated.

Giving account of how the sampling of the noodles was conducted, she said, “Samples of chicken flavoured instant noodles of various brands (and the seasonings) were drawn from the production facilities across the country.

“This was to ensure that the investigation was robust, covering other instant noodles brands manufactured in Nigeria, besides Indomie, the implicated brand.

“The Post Marketing Surveillance Division also visited markets/retail outlets in the major cities of Lagos, Abuja, and Kano and drew samples of instant noodles for laboratory analysis.

“The market visits served as surveillance for the presence of the Taiwan and Malaysian special chicken noodles in the Nigerian market.

“The samples drawn from production facilities and trade were properly packaged and delivered in good condition to our Central Laboratory, Oshodi, Lagos, where analytical activities commenced immediately in accordance with international standards and methods of analysis.”

For the sampling, a total of 114 samples of instant noodles and the seasonings were received, the NAFDAC DG stated.

The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.





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