For what was one of the most profitable businesses in the world for decades unending, the tobacco industry is most definitely facing its death knell (ok, a knell is the mournful sound of a bell played at funerals). In other words, cigarette makers will be looking for new businesses to go into very soon the rate at which governments around the world are clamping down on them.
Cigarette Makers: But there are 2 sides to this story. The tobacco industry employs thousands of white collar workers and a few thousands more farmers around Nigeria. In fact, cigarette makers like British American Tobacco contribute more to the agriculture sector with huge owned and supported farms in places like Iseyin in Oyo state, and in parts of the north like Zaria.
And we can only imagine the quantum of tax they pay to coffers of Lagos state.
Unfortunately, none of this will be thought to be enough in the final analysis when we consider that these cigarette makers literally sell death. And not even the quick painless variety, but excruciating suffering which affects millions of victims and their families, putting huge financial strains on them, usually to no avail in the end.
Addendum: where does this leave the electronic cigarette smokers?
General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Mr Bola Shabi, on Wednesday said that public smoking would no longer be tolerated in the state as offenders would be sanctioned.
“In club houses, we have been advising owners to paste “a no-smoking signs”, and also provide designated smoking areas for smokers which must be erected within a specific time frame,” he said.
Shabi also said that those who were not ready to comply would be arrested and sanctioned.
“In human rights, we have the right to do what we want to do but what we are trying to do is to ensure that we do not allow our individual lifestyles to affect others negatively.
“There should be a designated area to indulge in ones habit rather than inconveniencing others,” Shabi said.