Rights group launches #SmokeFreeNollywood Campaign
Calls For Ban Of Tobacco Products Advertisement In Movies
As part of its commitment to ensuring a healthy lifestyle among the movie industry practitioners, the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has called for adult rating for films with smoking scenes, anti-smoking adverts, anti-smoking health warnings, certified no pay-offs, stop identification of tobacco brands and a total ban on tobacco products placement in the nation’s movie industry, Nollywood.
The rights group made the call at the launch of the #SmokeFreeNollywood campaign in Lagos, recently, noting that tobacco kills about six million people annually, and is projected to kill eight million people by the year 2030 if nothing is done.
In his address, the Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable death in the world and a risk factor for several non-communicable diseases including cancers, cardiovascular ailments, diabetes mellitus, and chronic respiratory illnesses.
“Art is life, tobacco is death! The tobacco industry has a track record of giving misleading impressions of tobacco use, enticing young persons through movies and music videos. The industry uses many seemingly harmless channels to addict the youth. But among these, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that movies and entertainment materials are the most veritable for transfer of ideas and promotion of an alternative lifestyle.”
He noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC), which Nigeria is a signatory to and had ratified, requires parties to implement a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.
“The guidelines for implementation of Article 13 of the WHO-FCTC includes a statement that the depiction of tobacco use in films is a form of promotion that influences tobacco use, particularly by young people, and include specific measures, which are addressed more fully in the WHO report,” he added.
Akinbode stated that in 2007, a screening of 10 randomly selected movies by tobacco control activists in Nigeria showed that the tobacco industry has been using Nollywood to promote tobacco smoking.
“The 10 movies screened at the time were Million Dollar, Sisters, Fatal Seduction, Battle for Battle, Holy Warden, GL2, Virgin Heart, Games Angel Play, War Game, Living in Pain and My Own Share,” he added.
He further stated that CAPPA would be partnering with stakeholders in the movie industry to pursue its recommendations. “Our engagement with the key entertainment stakeholders here is because they are role models, influencers of our youths and relevant in ensuring Nigerian films are compliant with the WHO-FCTC and Nigeria’s National Tobacco Control Act and its Regulations,” he enthused.
Akinbode noted that the National Tobacco Control Act which was passed into law in 2015 and the National Tobacco Control Regulations 2019, contained provisions prohibiting tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorships in movies and entertainment.
On stage on the evening was gospel artiste, Lanre Teriba is better known as Atorise, who thrilled guests with his melodious tunes.