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Stakeholders canvass end to smoking in movies

By Edu Abade
13 December 2021   |   4:00 am
Stakeholders have expressed concern about the growing evidence linking the entertainment industry with smoking and the use of other tobacco products and their impact on public health.

• Urge implementation of tobacco
Stakeholders have expressed concern about the growing evidence linking the entertainment industry with smoking and the use of other tobacco products and their impact on public health.

They, therefore, advocated an end to smoking in Nigerian movies and urged implementation of the National Tobacco Control Fund as specified in the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and National Tobacco Control Regulations 2019 in relation to the ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorships (TAPS).

The stakeholders, which included the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, National Film and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB) and others, stated this at the end of a one-day roundtable in Lagos, at the weekend, in a communiqué read by Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NFVCB, Adedayo Thomas; Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi; Zeb Ejiro and Michael Olaniyan of CTFK, among others.

They insisted that smoking in movies and the entertainment sector was a pathway to young people embracing smoking and should be stopped.

“The tobacco industry uses sophisticated marketing mix to promote smoking on set and in the entertainment sector. Entertainment stakeholders are deliberately targeted by the tobacco industry either through financial inducement, misinformation and other subtle approaches to further glamourise smoking in the movies and the entertainment sector

“Awareness on the dangers of smoking in movies and the entertainment sector in the digital media space is still low. The national legislation does not sufficiently capture the growing shisha use and emerging alternative products such as e-cigarettes,” the communiqué reads.

The stakeholders also agreed that the NFVCB would escalate its awareness creation and education among relevant stakeholders in the movies and entertainment sector to ensure compliance with national laws, especially the NTC Act 2015 and the NTC Regulations 2019 in relation to the ban on tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorships

“The NFVCB will ensure that all practitioners henceforth adhere to the relevant laws of Nigeria, particularly as it pertains to smoking in movies in their film productions.

“The NFVCB, which has the mandate of providing an enabling environment for the growth of the film industry through its activities will continue to work with practitioners and experts to put in place adequate measures to ensure the environment remains conducive,” it said.

It further noted that the NFVCB would sustain its engagements and consultation with relevant stakeholders in the movie and entertainment sector to ensure that film classification were appropriate and up to date.

It would also prioritise classification of movies with smoking scenes and tobacco depiction, which the NFVCB would enforce to the letter.

“The operationalisation of the Tobacco Control Fund will open opportunities for movies and entertainment sector operators to play crucial roles in awareness creation and sensitisation in relation to smoking in movies. It will also be appropriate that the NFVCB and practitioners are represented in the operationalisation of the fund,” it added.