A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that Nigeria faces the devastating consequences of smoke-related diseases with about 30,000 lives lost in 2022.
A Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction document indicated that 4.1% of the adult populations in country are current smokers, representing approximately 4.5 million individuals with 7.9% being men while women made up of 0.3% of those engaged in smoking.
Speaking at the 2023 World No Smoking Day, spokesman for the Foundation for Consumer Freedom Advancement (FCFA), Abisoye Micheal, said the figures underscore the urgent need for the Nigerian government to prioritise a Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) strategy and urged government to adopt Swedish model.
He stated that by adopting the Sweden’s approach, Nigeria can pave the way for other African nations, offering a beacon of hope in reducing smoking rates and promoting a healthier future.
He said Sweden’s remarkable accomplishment is evident as it moves closer to becoming a smoke-free society, adding that over the past 15 years, smoking rates in European have plummeted from 15% to an astonishingly low 5.6%, making it the lowest rate.
“This achievement not only reflects a decline in smoking but also signifies a substantial reduction in associated health risks. It also places Sweden 17 years ahead of the European Union’s target. These remarkable statistics are a testament to the effectiveness of the Swedish way of making reduced risks alternative products to smoking widely accessible, acceptable and affordable,” Micheal said.