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Lagos Bans Smoking In Public Places

Babatunde Fashola, Former Governor of Lagos state

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a bill banning smoking in all public places in Lagos State, Nigeria.

Gov. Fashola of Lagos state, South-West Nigeria

Gov. Fashola of Lagos state, South-West Nigeria

The bill for a law to provide for the regulation of smoking in public places is a private member bill and has been sent to Governor Babatunde Fashola for assent.

It is not sure if the governor will assent to the bill because he is a known chain smoker.

The bill, passed by the House on Monday prohibited anybody from smoking in all public places such as libraries, museum, public toilets, schools, hospital, day care centres, public transportation and restaurants, among others.

The bill provides that the penalties for smoking in a “No-Smoking area” will be N10, 000 fine or imprisonment for a term not less than one month and not exceeding three months or both, while any person who repeatedly violates the provisions shall on conviction be liable to a fine of N50, 000 or six-month imprisonment or both.

The law also states the penalty for non-compliance by owner/occupier of a “No-smoking area,” as the offenders shall attract N100,000 or 6 months imprisonment, or other non-custodial punishment that the judge may deem fit.

The bill consists of 16 sections.  In section 12, there will be posting of signs which states “No – Smoking” symbol, depicted by a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a circle with a bar across.

The law provides that such signs and symbols shall be prominently posted and properly maintained where smoking is regulated by the law, by the owner, occupier or person charge of a “No – Smoking Area”.

Section 4 of the law provides that the duty of owner/occupier, saying that it shall be the duty of those who owns or occupies public places to ensure that approved “No – Smoking” signs are displayed conspicuously at each entrance and in prominent locations throughout the premises.

According to the bill, it shall be an offence to obstruct a duly authorized officer from carrying out his duties under the provision of this law as the law further states that any person who smokes in the presence of a child commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N15,000 or imprisonment for a month or both.

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