There seems to be a national amnesia about the existence of a tobacco control law in Nigeria. This is despite the fact that the National Tobacco Control Act (NTCA) was enacted only in 2015. The law provides a legal framework for the production, importation, distribution, sale and consumption of tobacco in the country.

Perhaps, what jolts most Nigerians out of such forgetfulness is the occasional call for the implementation of the law and the campaign against smoking. Notably, similar laws have been enacted in some states of the federation. While the state laws on tobacco often centre on prohibition of public smoking, the NTCA examines wider issues related to the tobacco business in Nigeria.

Like every other law, the enforcement of NTCA is imperative. Part XI of the law lays down its enforcement framework and the agencies saddled with the task. The law stipulates specific penalties for the breach of its provisions. For instance, Article 34 of Part XI is dedicated to penalties and applicable fines for violations. Also, Article 35 allows for search warrants to be procured for inspection of dwelling places suspected of harbouring illegal or substandard tobacco or tobacco products.

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