Ekiti State Government has signed the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules Bill, 2014, to begin the enforcement of the law.
The signing ceremony took place during a public presentation of the rules and regulations in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, by the Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Eniola Ajayi, in collaboration with the New Initiative for Social Development and Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids.
Ajayi explained that the rules were “designed to ensure full enforcement of the spirit and letters of the law.”
“If the area designated for smoking is to be within an enclosed building or a partially enclosed place on any premises, only one such smoking area may be designated,” the commissioner explained.
The law prohibiting smoking in public places in Ekiti was enacted by the House of Assembly and signed by Governor Kayode Fayemi in March, 2012.
It restricted smoking to designated areas in an outdoor or open space.
The law imposes a fine ranging between N10, 000 and N250, 000 on offenders or imprisonment for a term of three to six months, or both.
Ajayi added, “It is important to stress again that the laws and indeed the Rules are not designed to punish the smokers.
“Rather, they are necessary for the protection of the non-smokers who may be affected by the fumes and diseases caused by second-hand smoke. Diseases such as brain tumour, middle ear disease, asthma, leukaemia, cancer, madden infant death and so on. These are non-communicable and avoidable diseases, which are predominantly caused by tobacco smoke.”