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‘Anti-smoking law won’t make us quit’ – Lagos Smokers

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Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola’s signing into law of the new No Smoking in Public Places Bill has been met with mixed reactions.

While the law is popular for its noble intentions, many are skeptical about compliance issues. Smokers in Lagos, who spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly were not sure if the law would ultimately cause a reduction in tobacco intake.

According to the law, people who smoke in public places will risk a three year jail term. The bill prohibits smoking in areas designated as non-smoking areas, including museums, public toilets, libraries, nurseries, daycare centres and any facility used for the care of infants.

Public telephone kiosks, public transportation vehicles, private vehicles where there are more than one person, school buses, restaurants, bus stops and cinemas, theatres, amusement parks or any other place used by members of the public like conference centres and exhibition halls.

Also factories and other premises in which more than one person work and areas used as places of work, including the secretariat, are all defined in the law as public places.

KUNLE AWOYEMI

It is a good law to an extent but I don’t really think it can yield any positive result for now because smoking is not our main problem. Government should provide basic amenities first before asking us to stop smoking

In terms of compliance, as for me, I don’t smoke publicly. I smoke in my privacy; so, no problem for me. It’s those street boys you should be worried about.

KEHINDE STEPHEN

It is a welcome development but the government should also set up designated places for smokers as in advanced countries. Smokers are human beings, they didn’t take up the act overnight. It is the problem of the country that pushed them to smoke and forget their sorrows.

I don’t think total compliance can be achieved.

BASSEY EFFIONG

It is good. Even me that smokes over 15 sticks a day knows it’s not good; so it’s good. It is not going to be easy for the government to enforce this law but if they are serious, it is possible. They will need to educate the people very well because a lot of people don’t know about it.

ABRAHAM SHOBOWALE

I think it is a good move considering the fact that smoking is more dangerous to the person inhaling it than the smoker. The only advise is that the public should be more enlightened about the law and people enforcing it should not take advantage of it to harass the public.

Yes, total compliance can be achieved with proper enlightenment and orientation.

AINA ADEFILA

I think the new anti-smoking law is a great one. It’s all about safety of Lagosians. I think it should be easy. They can always smoke indoors.

ADESOKAN ASABI

It is a good law. I am in total support. It should be easy for smokers to comply with the law since it only bans them from smoking in public and in front of children.

OLAWALE OLANIYAN

It’s a good idea. Complying with the law won’t pose a problem for me, because I don’t smoke openly.

ABAYOMI FEMI

It is hypocritical because most of the people that implement the law are smokers. Initially, it might not be easy complying with the law, but as time goes by, we will conform with the law.

DANIEL AREMU

I don’t expect them to pass such a law because I smoke but not on the serious side anyway. It will be a bit difficult because a lot of people are used to it.

CAROLINE SAM

I still smoke once in a while; so that is really going to pain me a little. You have to consider other people. So, if people don’t like it, then you have to lock yourself somewhere and smoke. I don’t think total compliance will be achieved but it should be okay.

YEMI OJUKUTU

I don’t think I have a problem with the law because on a normal day, I don’t smoke in public. So, for me, I am okay with the law. I think total compliance will be achieved.

BIODUN LAWAL

Fashola should think of better laws to move Lagos State forward. I won’t stop smoking because of the new law. It will be difficult to enforce the law. I don’t see anybody going to prison or paying any fine. It won’t work.

ONYINYECHI JOHN

I still smoke. I don’t support the law. That is not what the common man wants. We want good governance not anti-smoking law.

People will continue to smoke wherever they like in Lagos. When their neighbours complain, they would apologize and move to another location. To be honest with you, it will be difficult for government or law enforcement agents to enforce their needless law.

OBINNA UMEREH

Anyway, I appreciate the law but government needs to make it clear to us the areas that smoking is forbidden now. To be honest, it’s not easy coping, and I don’t think there can be total compliance. It will take time before we will get used to it.

FELIX ODIGIE

This kind of law is another way of creating an avenue for police harassment. Left to me, I smoke anytime and anywhere I feel like. If I sit in a beer parlour, I smoke. If I am walking on the street, I smoke.

So, where else is a public place. That means we should be smoking in our houses. I am yet to understand how it’s going to work. But for now, I find it so difficult to cope. I have been smoking for 23 years, I have never heard of any law like this. That means Fashola should be ready to arrest many people.

 

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