Governor Babatunde Fashola
By Femi Durojaiye The Lagos State House of Assembly Monday finally passed a bill for a law to regulate smoking in public places in all parts of the state.
The bill has been sent the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), for an ascent. The bill, which scaled through the third reading, prohibits anybody smoking in all public places including libraries, museum, public toilets, schools, hospital, day care centres, public transportation and restaurants among others.
The bill, which consists of 16 sections, said in section 12 that posting of signs which states “No Smoking” symbol, depicts a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a circle with a bar across should be displayed in all no-smoking areas.
It would be prominently pasted and properly maintained where smoking is regulated by the law, by the owner, occupier or person in charge of a “no-smoking area.”
Section 4 of the bill says that it shall be the duty of those who owns or occupies public places to ensure that approved “no-smoking” signs are displayed conspicuously at each entrance and in prominent locations throughout the premises.
The bill also stated that the penalties for smoking in a “no-smoking area” will be N10,000 fine or imprisonment for a term not less than one month and not exceeding three months or both. According to the bill, any person who repeatedly violates the provisions shall on conviction be liable to a fine of N50,000 or six month imprisonment or both.
The bill also states the penalty for non-compliance by owner/occupier of a “no-smoking area.” The offenders shall attract N100,000 or 6 month imprisonment, or other non custodial punishments that the judge may deem fit. It would also be an offence to obstruct a duly authorised officer from carrying out his duties under the provision of this law.
The bill further stated that any person, who smokes in the presence of a child commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N15,000 or imprisonment for a month or both.