CAPPA – Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa

Over 5 Million Nigerian Youths Addicted To Cigarette Smoking –CAPPA

75% of the global deaths from smoking took place in developing countries.

Tobacco smoking has killed over 80 million people globally, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has disclosed.

CAPPA added that about five million young Nigerians are addicted to cigarette smoking.

CAPPA’s Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, who disclosed this in Enugu at a National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke-free Nollywood, said the five million young Nigerians who have been addicted to smoking are endangering their lives.

According to him, 75% of the global deaths from smoking took place in developing countries.

The National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke-free Nollywood was organised by CAPPA in conjunction with the National Films and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) for filmmakers, actors, and media practitioners.

“Tobacco is a killer. Tobacco currently kills over 8 million people globally with 75% of that coming from developing countries. Nigeria currently faces a double burden of Non-communicable Diseases, NCD, which is responsible for about 25% of all the deaths in our country,” he said.

He lamented that Nigeria’s future is bleak with over 5 million youths aged between 15 and 25 addicted to smoking cigarettes alone let alone other harmful substances people indulge in.

He said, “With more than 5 million young Nigerians aged 15 years and 25 years addicted to smoking cigarettes, our jobs, not just movie practitioners and industry experts but also parents, is to rise to the occasion and act right to protect our children and prepare for a smoke free future.”

Oluwafemi stated that because of the harmful effect of smoking, especially on the youth, there have been regulations to curtail its consumption and advertisement and as a result tobacco producers have resorted to the film and entertainment industry to market their products, a move the stakeholders engagement is aimed to stop.

Also speaking, the NFVCB Executive Director, Dr. Shaibu Husseni, lamented the harmful effect of smoking, saying that portraying it in videos and the media industry will jeopardise the society that is already replete with vices.

Husseni condemned smoking in the film industry, saying all hands should be on deck to sanitize the industry for better and healthier lives.

They said that people are affected or influenced by what they see and hear from society, especially the movie industry.

He said that he expects producers and actors in the movie industry to regulate themselves so that his board would not wield the big stick.

“As you all know, the film industry occupies a central position in the entertainment and creative sector.  It is imperative that we continue to place a high premium on the progress of the film industry by ensuring that films/video works, musical videos and skits are free of depiction and glamourisation of harmful substances like smoking of tobacco, violence, criminal acts, ritual killing, and money ritual,” he said.

He regretted that despite the fact that our culture and heritage are part of our existence, “we tend to pay less than optimal attention to the movies that are produced until recently when this group CAPPA decided to reach out to the developers and regulators of the film industry to put an end to the menace of smoking in movies”.

“We should be able to move the movie industry forward.  Let’s build the industry together.  We need to have a smoke-free society. People learn from what they see on the screen. I believe that the industry will be number one in Africa,” he said.

He, however, noted that the NFVCB is the only regulatory body in the film industry established by Decree No. 85 of 1993 now CAP N40, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. 

He said, “The Board is mandated by law to censor and classify both local and foreign films/video works, register and license distributors, distribution premises, exhibitors and exhibition premises, video club operators, retailers amongst other functions and to regulate the film industry in Nigeria. 

“Since the inception of the NFVCB, the Nigerian film industry has evolved remarkably in terms of the number of movies produced and their quality.”

Source: Sahara Reporters

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