Clinical Psychologist Calls for Policies to Reduce Tobacco Consumption

Omotoso: 1 Out Of 10 Nigerians Smokes Tobacco Daily

According to Prof. Gabriel Omotoso of the Department of Anatomy, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), one in every 10 Nigerians smokes tobacco daily.

Mr Omotoso made the submission in Ilorin during his paper presentation at the 259th Inaugural Lecture of the university entitled: “White Matter Matters in the Search for Phytochemical Candidates for Demyenilating Disorders’.”

The don, who teaches in the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Science of the university, quoted the World Health Organisation (WHO) as stating that the latest global estimate of tobacco users stood at 1.25 billion people.

He added that “tobacco causes more than eight million deaths yearly, out of which, 1.3 million are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. This makes it a leading cause of preventable death and disease worldwide.”

Mr Omotoso lamented that in spite of a great deal of health education on the grave implications of cigarette smoking, many people are still caught in the web of the habit, while tobacco companies continue to make fortune on the business.

He, therefore, stressed the need to specially protect children from tobacco, highlighting the consequences of cigarette smoke on different organs of the body.

“This includes its adverse effects on male gonads and reproductive fertility, degenerative change in the liver, disruption of the canalicular network and lipid metabolism and other hepatocellular injuries,” he said.

He urged Federal Government to enforce Tobacco Production Laws to protect youths from industry manipulation and prevent them from tobacco and nicotine use.

May 31 is annually celebrated as World No Tobacco Day, a global campaign aimed at raising awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco and the theme of the 2024 edition is “Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference.”