CAPPA Advocates Strict Enforcement Of Laws Against Smoking In Movies

Gideon Arinze in Enugu

The Corporate Accountability & Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has called on the government to ensure the implementation of existing regulations that prohibit smoking in the Nigerian movie industry.

Executive Director of CAPPA Akinbode Oluwafemi Oluwafemi made this known in Enugu during a one-day National Stakeholders Engagement focused on the #SmokefreeNollywood initiative organised in collaboration with the Nigerian Films and Video Censors Board (NFVCB).

In his address, Oluwafemi said that non-communicable diseases, for which smoking is a major risk factor, is responsible for about 25 of all deaths in the country.

“To stem the tide, Nigeria ratified of the first public health treaty known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) initiated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2005,”he said.

He noted that the country followed the ratification with a comprehensive National Tobacco Control Act in 2015 and the National Tobacco Control Regulations in 2019 which include ban of tobacco advertisement, sponsorship and promotion, ban of sale to , or by minors, provisions of ban of smoking in public places, effective warning messages on tobacco packs, among others.

He however regretted that despite the sanctions, smoking remains prevalent in Nigerian movies and continues to be depicted as a cool way of life.

“We are at a point where we must stop the glamorization of smoking and instead, promote healthy lifestyles,” he said, while also calling on relevant agencies, parents and industry experts to step in and protect our children and prepare for a smokefree future.

On his part, Director General of NFVCB, Shaibu Husseini said that the board was ready to work with diverse group of stakeholders, including filmmakers, producers, scriptwriters, and directors, to address the critical issue of smoking depiction in Nollywood films.

He stated that with the power to tell the Nigerian story, shape the future, and build a society that is genuinely productive, Nollywood has a role to play in ensuring that the growing concerns of non-communicable diseases in Nigeria is addressed.

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