Tobacco Tax Advocacy in Africa with support from Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) on Friday held a One Day Media Training on Tobacco Taxation in Nigeria.
The event focused on “Increase Taxation on Tobacco to Reduce Death And Disease” took place in Umuahia, the Abia state Capital. It was attended by top journalists practicing in broadcast, print and online media in Abia State.
Okeke Anyan and Solomon Adoga were the training consultants who exhibited their expertise in exposing the dangers of using tobacco both at early and old age.
Okeke Anyan on his part gave the World Health Organization’s (WHO) records of tobacco content and it’s harmfulness to human body organs.
“Cigarettes for instance, which is a product of tobacco, was revealed to contain over 7,000 chemicals, many of which are lethal and carcinogenic. Such chemicals are: Tar, Ammonia, Methane, Steric Acid, Hydrogen Cyanide, Cadmium, Acetate, Carbo monoxide, Acetic Acid, Hexamine.” Anyan revealed.
Solomon Adoga on his part gave various modern techniques of effective media publicity tools to pass information in the social media space and other visual broadcasting as well as other need for prompt Increase in tobacco taxation in Nigeria.
Reason For Demand of Increased Taxation in Nigeria.
Accordingly to WHO report, 8million people die annually of tobacco-related ailments and that this number will increase by 2030 if nothing significant is not done to reduce the devastation which tobacco use causes.
To deal with the harmful effects of tobacco, Article 6 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco control (WHO-FCTC) has recommended that tax and price measures are important ways of reducing tobacco prevalence.
According to WHO records, about 5.6% of Nigeria’s adult population aged 15 and above(4.7million) currently use tobacco products with about 2.4 million smoking an average sticks per day. Approximately 18% of Nigeria’s youth population between the ages of 13 to 15 also smoke.
About 8million people are affected with tobacco while about 7.1million are secondary smokers. (Secondary smokers are those who inhale smoke from smoker around) according to UN reports.
Shisha, which is a modern tobacco product was also revealed to have about 100 sticks of Cigarette in a session.
The WHO report also has it that Nigeria’s smoking prevalence rate increased from a total of 13.3% in 2000 to 18.5% in 2015, and it’s projected to rise to 22.1.2% from 2020 upwards if not checked.
CISLAC’ interest of Pressure
Another strong position CISLAC holds for demand of Increase in tobacco taxation is that it has made smokers to maintain a level of Nicotine which is the most dangerous content of cigarettes which smokers believe also maintains a level in the blood normal working. Smokers now have to avoid the discomfort experience while not smoking. It also holds that Nicotine harms the brain development as teen grows.
CISLAC also holds that Nigeria should adopt international best practices on tobacco taxation which is the most effective fiscal policy instrument to curb cigarette consumption, but also as a major strategy to generate revenue.
It also holds that in an attempt to read fiscal benefits while pursuing public health goals, several countries are implementing one or more forms of taxation policy, particularly the recommended total tax burden of at least 75%.
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) is a non-governmental, non-profit legislative Advocacy, information sharing and research organization, arising from the felt need to address defect in the legislative Advocacy work of civil society and open the window through which legislators can also access civil society groups. It aims to strengthen the work of civil society on legislative Advocacy and the gap between legislators and the Civil Society.