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EMMANUEL ODIASE


PASSIVE SMOKE, MORE HARMFUL

On behalf of the coalitions, networks, alliances, non-governmental organisations and the general public, governments all over the world are hereby called upon to take urgent steps in placing comprehensive bans on indoor smoking in public areas owing to the increasing rate of preventable diseases and deaths caused by tobacco smoke which has 4000 chemical substances with 40 cancerous ones.

Cigarette smoke is not only harmful to smokers but to non-smokers. There are presently about Five Million deaths worldwide annually.It amazingly causes more deaths than AIDS, AUTO-ACCIDENTS, FIRE-OUTBREAKS AND HOMICIDE conbined.

The WHO which observed the World No Tobacco Day recently, enacted a treaty on tobacco control called the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Am happy that a lot of governments have signed up and ratified this treaty including Nigeria where I come from. However, I call again on the policymakers to take further steps in "Curbing this Epidemic". A non-smoker exposed to secondary smoke is at great risks of lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, heart attack to mention but a few.

Children with smoking parents are more sick with more frequent colds and flu, ear infections, asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia may be due in part to cigarette smoke. Babies born to smokers may have a lower birth weight and slowed lung development. They are more likely to be hospitalised in their first two years of life. In addtion, they will be more prone to smoke themselves as teens and/or adults.

Lets therfore, encourage a Smoke-Free worlds at large devoid of preventable diseases and deaths caused by tobacco.

Emmanuel Odiase
Smokefree Nigeria Action Foundation (SNAF)
17, Dunukofia Street,
Area 11, Garki,
Abuja.
234-8055511620,
quitsmokingtobacco@gmail.com
123gosmokefree@gmail.com
smokefreenigeria@gmail.com

Emmanuel Odiase

ABUJA: Model Smoke-free Jurisdiction

According to a CDC study, published in this week's issue of the
CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the
number of states with strong smokefree laws (in effect) tripled
between 2005 and 2007. During the study period, 18 states
strengthened smokefree protections in private sector worksites,
18 states strengthened protections in restaurants, and 12 states
strengthened protections in bars. No state weakened smokefree
protections. In addition, the states of Illinois and Maryland
passed a law, but they were not in effect at the end of the
study period.

To date, there are now 27 states with a 100% smokefree provision
in effect covering non-hospitality workplaces, restaurants,
and/or bars, and another five that have been enacted but are not
yet or are only partially in effect (IA, OR, MT, UT, NE). ANR
defines smokefree as not allowing smoking at any time, anywhere
in the establishment, and without exemptions for small
businesses or ventilated spaces.

This study did not address progress among local municipalities,
but it is important to note the impressive progress made at the
local level as well. The ANR Foundation tracks and analyzes
local tobacco control laws via its US Tobacco Control Laws
database. During the same time period noted in the CDC study
(12/31/04 - 12/31/07), the total number of local smokefree laws
in non-hospitality workplaces, restaurants, and/or bars nearly
doubled, increasing from 358 to 685. This is significant given
that most strong 100% statewide laws were preceded by action at
the local level.

A few states are exceptions to this "local first" rule,
particularly among those states that were strapped with
statewide preemption legislation that prohibited local control
and authority of smokefree laws. One example of a state passing
a statewide smokefree law without any prior local action is
Delaware. In 2002, Delaware became the first state to repeal
preemption when it passed its smokefree law, thereby granting
authority back to local governments to enact additional
smokefree laws as needed. At the peak, there were 23 states with
partial or full preemption; today, the number has dropped to 14.
While we are seeing a successful downward trend in preemption,
we are well-aware that this continues to be a top priority for
the tobacco industry and we must all remain vigilant in opposing
any language in state bills that would restrict the authority of
local governments to protect their citizens from exposure to
secondhand smoke. States like South Carolina, where local action
is just beginning to get into full swing, have already defeated
preemptive state legislative bills and expect more fights in the
next session.

Clearly, the U.S. is well on its way to becoming entirely
smokefree. Smokefree air is good for health and good for
business, and everyone has the right to breathe smokefree air.
We at ANR intend to do our very best to close the gaps in
smokefree protections by working with our members and friends on
the ground to pass more smokefree laws, continue to expose
tobacco industry interference, and continue to mobilize the next
generation of nonsmokers.

Nigerians should rise up to this challenge. Abuja joins the SMOKEFREE cities come 1st June, 2008. Congratulation ot the F.C.T
Minister for this giant stride, a committment to public Health.

For more information on secondhand smoke, model legislation, or
smokefree lists and maps, contact us at 123gosmokefree@gmail.com or at234-9-4825685.

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