Earmark tobacco taxes for Health Coverage and Tobacco Control in Nigeria

Petition Closed

Earmark tobacco taxes for Health Coverage and Tobacco Control in Nigeria

This petition had 34 supporters

Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance started this petition to FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA (The Presidency) and

The health and economic burdens of tobacco use are shifting to developing countries with limited capacities to deal with the associated costs. The number of tobacco-related deaths primarily from cigarettes, continues to rise and is now more than 7 million per year. Tobacco use is the leading cause of Non-Communicable Diseases worldwide; second hand smoke is equally harmful. Research studies have shown that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and that secondhand smoke contains higher concentrations and more harmful chemicals than the first-hand smoke inhaled by the smokers. The more secondhand smoke inhaled, the higher the levels of the toxic chemicals in the body and the likelihood of developing smoking-related health problems.

Many countries are taking the initiative to pursue tobacco control policy measures that guard public health and secure their drive for economic development. Yet, these measures remain insufficient to yield desired impact as is the case in Nigeria. To yield results, it is important that tobacco control measures be taken in a coordinated and holistic manner. For instance, tobacco taxation has to be substantial and complemented with other tobacco control measures such as earmarking to be effective. Such that, revenues realized from tobacco control ought to be earmarked to fund further tobacco control measures that otherwise receive limited budgetary attention. This should also contribute to meeting the cost burdens on the healthcare system placed by tobacco-related diseases.

An important step towards institutionalizing the earmarking of tobacco revenues is the practice of setting up a dedicated fund. Specifically, revenue accruing to the government from tobacco taxation, licensing, duties, etc. can be channeled to this fund on an agreed modality.

All concerned patriots in Nigeria are hereby urged to sign this petition and ask the Federal Government of Nigeria to set apart a fraction of tobacco taxes for national health coverage and for the tobacco control. The Nigeria Tobacco Control Act 2015 provides for the establishment of the National Tobacco Control Fund. Unfortunately, up till now nothing has been done to implement that provision.

As a matter of urgency, the Federal Government of Nigeria must allocate 10% of tobacco taxes for National health coverage and tobacco control so as to assuage the public health burden of tobacco use in the country and implement the World health organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s MPOWER strategy for Tobacco Control. The Tobacco industry are having a field day marketing death to youths and children in subtle ways and interfering in Government policies meant to regulate them. This is inimical to the health and safety of all citizens. This fund when earmarked will accelerate and sustain the effective implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and the National Tobacco Control Regulations 2019.

We hereby call on the Government of Nigeria to heavily tax tobacco products and earmark the taxes to fund health coverage for the citizen and tobacco control. This is  for the sake of the health of the citizens.
 
 

Petition Closed

This petition had 34 supporters