MIXED reactions have trailed the proposed ban on public smoking in Lagos State by the state government. Many Lagosians feel that the proposed ban will improve the health condition of some people, while others think that it’s a waste of time. Below are what some Nigerians said on the issue.
Ikechukwu Ogana, businessman: The ban on smoking in public is a welcome development and I am glad that the Lagos State government is paying attention to public health and safety. It’s the duty of the government to enact laws that would meet the needs and challenges of its citizens.
Daniel Adibe, banker: This is a good law for public health safety. Kudos to the Lagos House of Assembly. It is hoped other states would emulate Lagos. We need this law in Lagos because Lagosians are at risk from the pollution in our environment mostly from generators and commercial transports. I agree with this policy, ban smoking first then others things will follow.
Austine Okechukwu, pastor: This bill is long overdue. Hopefully when passed into law, it will be enforced. Most laws in Nigeria are either not enforced or unenforceable. Apart from the health benefits and sanitation effect of this bill, it will also generate revenue for the state. Again, I hope the revenue it would generate would be used to rehabilitate the offenders when in custody and to educate the residents of the state. The bill should be extended to bus stops, motor parks, private and public vehicles.
Ifeanyi Edeh, businessman: This bill is against human rights. Does that mean I can’t relax in front of my house smoking cigarette with a chilled bottle of beer because children or my kids would see me? That a man does not smoke cigarette does not mean his child cannot grow to smoke India-hemp or even become an armed robber. This is nonsense because the police and Governor Fashola’s boys will seize the opportunity to enrich themselves at the expense of offenders.
Kingsley Azubuike, businessman: It is a good law that is meant to sanitise the environment. But my worry is who will enforce it? Is it going to be like the traffic law, which the police and the LASTMA officials are using to enrich themselves? They abused the traffic law and extort money from people at any given opportunity. If government empowers these law enforcement agencies to enforce the law, then they will abuse it like every other law in the state.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Feb. 10, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT