In a bid to discourage smoking among citizens, the federal government has increased the tax on tobacco products including shisha and cigarettes from 20 percent to 30 percent.
Announcing the increase is Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for health, who made this known on Tuesday at a media briefing in Abuja in commemoration of the 2022 World No Tobacco Day, themed ‘Tobacco: A Threat To Our Environment’.
According to the former Lagos speaker, the increase is aimed at discouraging consumption of tobacco products.
Mamora said the new tax took effect on June 1, 2022.
“This new regime increased the ad-valorem tax rate from 20 percent to 30 percent,” he said.
“In addition to the 30 percent ad-valorem, a specific excise rate has been increased from N58 to N84 per pack of 20 sticks of cigarette, and this will further be increased to N94 per pack in 2023; and then N104 per pack in 2024.
“Also, shisha is now taxed at the rate of N3,000 per litre and N1,000 per kilogramme and this will be increased yearly by N500.12.
“This pro-health tax is an effective public health control measure against behavioural risk factors as it has the capacity to reduce demand and consumption of tobacco products.”
In thesame vein, Mamora said the ministry had commenced screening and issuance of operational licences to qualified major tobacco businesses in the country with the view to profiling and monitoring tobacco industry activities nationwide.
He added that the tobacco industry must ensure that the unit packages of all their tobacco products have the approved text and pictorial/graphic health warning message so that the public, especially tobacco users, are made aware of the harmful effects of tobacco use.
At the event, the minister also launched the Tobacco Control Data Initiative (TCDI) dashboard.
The TCDI dashboard is a virtual system that would allow stakeholders and the public to access relevant and up-to-date data on tobacco control in the country.
He urged Nigerians to avoid tobacco and exposure to second-hand smoke.
According to him, quitting tobacco is beneficial as it decreases the risk of many diseases.
“It will also protect even babies, children, and women as they are the topmost victims of second-hand smoke,” Mamora said.
“I also urge citizens to report infringements on provisions of the national tobacco control laws and regulations to the law enforcement agencies.”