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CAPPA tasks NFCVB on enforcement of ban on TAPS

By EDU ABADE

In its continued bid to reduce tobacco-related diseases and deaths in the country, the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa has urged the National Films and Video Censors Board (NFCVB) to, as a matter of urgency, enforce the ban on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorships (TAPS) with particular emphasis on the movies and entertainment sector.

Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, gave the charge recently at a media briefing and the award of prizes to winners of the Smoke Free Nollywood Skit Challenge in Lagos and canvassed introduction of ratings in movies with smoking scenes in cases that require historical accuracy.

He also stressed the need for collaboration with regulatory agencies and all critical stakeholders including professional bodies in an effort to effectively rid Nollywood movies and the entertainment industry of smoking scenes.

Oluwafemi explained that several reports had shown that the tobacco industry had been deliberately targeting Africa, and by extension Nigerian youths as replacement smokers through glamorisation of smoking scenes in Nollywood movies.

He said the World Health Organisation (WHO), exposure to Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorships (TAPS) promotes initiation of youths to tobacco, maintaining that the industry has a long history of targeting young people with promotional activities using themes of independence, class and appetite for risk-taking, among other subtle means.

The CAPPA boss further explained that in the skit challenge, contestants were expected to create videos of not more than two minutes and twenty seconds with messages specifying the dangers of smoking and a call to action, which is essentially to urge the Nigerian government to enforce the ban on TAPS with emphasis on the entertainment industry.

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“A total of 126 entries were received at the end of the competition on June 30, 2022. The number was scrutinised by a team of experienced panellists, who scaled them down to the final five, three of whom have won a laptop, a camera and a phone, while two got consolation cash prizes.

“CAPPA’s intervention through the skit challenge is a reverse strategy in the sense that while the tobacco industry wants to capture the minds of the youths and their lungs, we decided to engage their creative abilities to spread anti-tobacco messages, especially the need for the Federal Government to strictly enforce the ban on TAPS.

“The same minds that the tobacco industry creatively manipulates to woo into smoking and addiction, have through the skit challenge, shown that they can use their time and talents for advocacy purposes, which ultimately protects them from the manipulations of the industry. The youths have a choice and their choice is not to become replacement smokers,” he stated.

Those who won the prizes are Shamange Karen Nguyilan (fourth runner up); Dale Godstime Osamuyimen (third runner up); Ilemobola Michael Oluwasegun (second runner up); Popoola Abiola Isaac (first runner up) and the winners, Ojo Adebayo and Peter Oluwaseun.

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