By Agbonkhese Oboh
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 Nigerian movie industry— Nollywood.
The rights group made the call at its launch of the #SmokeFreeNollywood campaign in Lagos, last Saturday, noting that tobacco kills as many as six million people annually, and is projected to kill as much as eight million people by the year 2030, if nothing is done.
In his keynote address at the launch, the Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said the tobacco industry had a track record of giving misleading impressions of tobacco use, enticing young persons through movies and music videos.
Oluwafemi noted that the 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.
He added: “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.
“In 2007 a screening of 10 randomly selected movies by tobacco control activists in Nigeria showed that the tobacco industry might have been using Nollywood to promote tobacco smoking.”
He said CAPPA would be partnering stakeholders in Nollywood 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 added.
At the launch were veteran broadcaster and actor, Jide Alabi, who also represented Tunji Bamishigbin, renowned movie director and producer; singers Lanre Teriba, Reflex and Zadok.
The latter pair has a track on the theme of the campaign.