The Country Representative, World Health Organisation, Mr Walter Mulombo, says over 30,000 Nigerians die of tobacco-related diseases annually.
Mulombo said this in Abuja on Tuesday during the unveiling of the Nigeria Tobacco Control Data Initiative Dashboard by Development Gateway, an IREX venture, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, as part of activities to mark this year’s World No Tobacco Day.
The WHO Country Representative said the number outweighed that of deaths from COVID-19 which had killed 3,144 in the country so far.
Mulombo described tobacco as a slow ticking bomb.
The Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, advised Nigerians to avoid tobacco and exposure to second-hand smoke.
He said the government had since June 1 commenced the implementation of a new three-year tobacco tax regime which would end in 2024.