Bill proposing health warnings in alcohol adverts passes second reading

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A bill for a law to make it mandatory for health warning on advertisements of alcoholicproducts in Nigeria and other related matters on Thursday passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

This followed a bill sponsored by Danasabe Hosea (Taraba-PDP).

Leading the debate on the motion, Mr Hosea expressed concern that alcoholic drinks in Nigeria had no advertisement and health warnings similar to those for tobacco and other products which posed dangers to health.

According to him, the objective of the bill is to restrict effects of alcohol consumption with public health messages presented as advertisement about the negative consequences of alcohol use.

“No person or organisation shall print or publish an alcohol advertisement in a printed publication to which this applies unless the advertisement bears the health warning as set out in the schedules.

“This section applies to any electronic or print media in Nigeria and any periodical, magazine or other publication printed or published in Nigeria.

“Section 2 of the bill highlights the health warning when alcohol advertisement is displayed.

“No person shall display or publish or distribute for the purpose of display, an alcohol advertisement in writing or other permanent form or semi-permanent form unless the advertisement bears health warning as set out in the schedule.

“Such money charged for any purpose or otherwise but 5 per cent of the money charged to vest under the control and management of primary healthcare. Section 3 of the Bill defines the meaning of alcohol advertisement.

“For the purpose of this act an advertisement is an alcohol if it; contains any express or implied inducement, suggestion or request to purchase alcohol; relates to the consumption of alcohol in terms which are calculated expressly or implied with to promote or encourage the use of alcohol.”

He said the section of the bill stipulated that the offence and penalty, punishment on conviction is a fine of 100,000 and in the case of continuing offence a further fine of N100,000 for every day during which the offence continued.

A point of order was raised by Ossai Ossai (Delta-PDP), noting there was an agency already in existence for that purpose

But Aliyu Pategi(Kwara-APC) and others supported the mover of the bill.

According to the lawmakers the bill seeks to put warnings by producers as well as meet international best practices.

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