Lagos State Bans Public Smoking

Channels Television  
Updated January 21, 2014

The Lagos State House of Assembly in South-West  Nigeria on Monday passed a bill to prohibit smoking in designated places and vehicles in the state.

The bill which was sponsored by Gbolahan Yishawu, the lawmaker representing Eti-Osa Constituency 2 at the House, places a fine of N10, 000 or 3 months imprisonment, or both for first offenders.

The law prohibits residents of the state from smoking in public places such as schools, day-care centres, libraries, museums, hospitals, public transportation, restaurants, public toilets among others.

The law, which passed its third reading on Monday, also mandates owners of public places to place signs with the inscription; ‘No Smoking’ or symbols as part of enlightenment for smokers and would-be violators of the law.

Section 4 of the bill also states that “it shall be the duty of owners or occupiers of public places to ensure that approved signs are displayed conspicuously at each entrance, and in prominent locations throughout the premises.

The law also mandates such owners of public places to create areas far from the vicinity where people could smoke. Non-compliance by owners of public places, according to the law shall attract a fine of 100, 000 Naira or 6 months imprisonment, or other non-custodial punishment that the judge may deem fit.

In the case of a corporate organisation’s refusal to place a ‘No Smoking’ sign or symbol within its premises, any personnel in the management of the corporate body would be liable to a fine in the sum of 250, 000 Naira upon conviction. This may be a director or manager in the organisation.

According to the bill, anyone who repeatedly violates the provisions of the law, on conviction shall be liable to a fine of 50, 000 Naira or 6 months imprisonment or both. While anyone who smokes in the presence of a child shall be liable on conviction to a fine of 15, 000 Naira or 1 month imprisonment.

The law gives the state Environmental Protection Agency the powers to implement it while residents are allowed to report to the state Ministry of the Environment, any grievances against state officials who are saddled with the implementation of the law. It is however, an offence to obstruct duly authorized officers from carrying out their duties under the provision of this law.

More places may be designated by commissioners of the state, as non-smoking areas for the sake of effective implementation of the law.

Section 12 of the 16-section law that has been passed to the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, for assent