According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco kills over 7million people annually and is increasing risk factor in non-communicable diseases (NCD’s), including cardiovascular diseases, cancers and chronic obstructed pulmonary disease. As a Social media for social good club, we hosted Professor Christiana O. Ukoli, chairperson National Tobacco Control Committee (NATOCC) recently for a fireside chat on its impact and what her committee is doing to salvage the situation. The chat was moderated by Essien Sampson a Digital Marketing Strategist and member of the #SMSGClub.
The NATOCC chairperson currently works with the University of Jos, Nigeria and the University Teaching Hospital as a Consultant Physician specialized in Respiratory Medicine. She became the Chairperson of the National Tobacco Control Committee in 2016.
Prof. Ukoli described Tobacco as a plant from which products like cigarette, snuff are made of Nicotine (the addictive part) and other Carcinogenic substances that are injurious to the health.
Speaking in the chat, Prof. faulted the incessant consumption of Tobacco on the lack of adequate education and awareness on the health hazards that comes with the consumption of Tobacco in our communities. Furthermore, she called on the government, religious bodies, media outlets and the public to play their respective roles in other to aid the control of Tobacco Consumption.
As a withdrawal method for those finding it hard to quit smoking, she mentioned that administering Nicotine Gums/Patches would aid in killing the urge for smoking cigarette. To further control Tobacco consumption, she said the government is planning to increase taxation on Tobacco products. This would in turn increase the price of a pack of cigarette and make it less affordable for regular consumption. She also stated that Nigeria is one of the countries where tobacco is being sold at the cheapest rates.
Prof. Ukoli also advocated for the use of social media platforms as a tool for stakeholders to use to sensitize the public on why Tobacco consumption is very bad for our health and that of our unborn children. She advice that as a country we should control the consumption of Tobacco and desist from passively advertising its use by uploading pictures and airing videos as that can go a long way in convincing people to try it out.
There was spoken word performances by Younglan and Lardo which enthralled the audience. Job David Ayuba, Founder of Tomruk iHub also encouraged the attendees to be catalyst of transformative change in their communities.
This event was supported by: