CAPPA backs youths on calls to make Big Tobacco pay for harms

Global youths organisations have condemned the tobacco industry’s resolve to create a new generation of smokers and users of their product through addiction and urged the government at all levels to make the tobacco companies pay for their past, present and future health hazards and harms their products were causing.

The youths, who spoke on behalf of themselves and future generations on the sidelines of the International Youth Day, which holds on August 12 every year are seeking justice, as well as get compensations and ensure that the tobacco industry does not get a seat wherever and whenever issues affecting the welfare of youths are being discussed at global forums.

big tobacco - cappa joins nigeria youths to call for payment of damages

In a statement issued in Lagos, Director of Programmes, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Philip Jakpor, highlighted the tobacco industry’s involvement in the vaping epidemic, digital marketingsports sponsorshipchild labourenvironmental harms, including accumulated toxic single use plastics in the oceans, which are covered up by fake philanthropic programmes and dubious grants.

(CAPPA) joined the call of the global youths.

“When governments allow the tobacco industry to influence tobacco control or vaping policy, they are serving the heads of our children to the tobacco industry on a platter and we should not allow this.

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“Vaping policies should consider primarily the risks of youths’ addiction and recreational use. The youths also want governments to exact tobacco industry accountability and liability, which can come in the form of revocation of licences, compensation for harms, financial guarantees for future harms and could involve court cases, tobacco surcharges, penalties, fees and taxes, among others,” the statement reads.

The group also explained that smoking and consumption of other tobacco products cause eight million deaths yearly in addition to causing addiction and environmental hazards associated with deforestation in communities where tobacco plants are cultivated and discarded cigarette butts.

It further pointed out that single use plastics in cigarette packs and butts alone cause at least $20 billion yearly in losses of marine resources, which it insisted outweighed any economic gains of the tobacco industry, costing $1.4 trillion in economic losses every year.

CAPPA, a Pan-African non-for profit organisation, is passionately devoted to working with African communities in building partnerships with them and taking collective social action towards the promotion and defence of the rights of peoples.

It challenges the abuse of Nigeria and Africa’s natural resources, the environment and peoples through corporate state policies and practices.

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