This week, May 31st to be precise, Nigeria joined the rest of the world in celebrating the World No Tobacco Day. While the focus globally is to save lives via plain packaging of tobacco products, lawmakers in Oyo state did something different, they chose to focus on banning outdoor smoking outrightly across the state.
Yesterday (Thursday May 2nd), Oyo State House of Assembly passed a bill placing a ban on smoking in public places in the state. The “Bill to Regulate Smoking in Public Places and for Connected Purposes’’ also provides three to six months imprisonment or fine of between N15, 000 and N50, 000 for violators.
The bill was sponsored by Mr Segun Ajanaku and Mr Segun Olaleye, representing Ibadan South-West II and Ibadan North II constituencies, respectively.
According to Daily Trust report monitored by IBPulse, the assembly said that the bill was necessary for regulating smoking in designated places, include shopping centres, restaurants, public toilets and cinemas. Other areas covered by the proposed law are hospitals, creches, schools and public transportation vehicles within the state.
Specifically, the bill stipulates fine of N15, 000 or three month imprisonment or both for first time offenders while any person guilty of repeated act would be liable to a N50, 000 fine or six months imprisonment or both.
It also stipulates that any person found guilty of smoking in the presence of a child in a manner that exposes smoke to be injurious to the child, would be liable to a month imprisonment with an option of N15, 000 or both.
It states that refusal to place the sign or symbol by a corporate body, director, manager, company secretary or any person concerned in the management of the corporate body will be liable to N250, 000 fine upon conviction.
According to the provisions of the bill, any person found guilty of not putting up a ‘No-Smoking’ sign would be liable to six months imprisonment or N100,000 or other non-custodial punishment that the court may deem fit.