World No Tobacco Day

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has urged governments at all levels to embark on effective enforcement of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and the National Tobacco Regulation 2019 to protect the nation’s children from the menace of tobacco addiction and its associated health costs.

CAPPA, in a statement issued to mark this year’s World No Tobacco Day (WNTD- 2024), commended the Nigerian Films and Censors Board (NFVCB) for introducing the regulation that seeks to end the glamorization of smoking in movies and films, saying the regulation will help curb youth initiation in the country.

This year’s WNTD theme: “Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference” is aimed at raising awareness on how the tobacco industry continues to target young persons as replacements for smokers who die or quit the habit.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), In 2022, at least 37 million young people between 13 and 15 years use some form of tobacco globally. Many youths are taking to new products by the industry that include electronic cigarettes, Shisha etc.

“With growing evidence showing that the tobacco industry deliberately targets our youths, the Nigerian government must intensify efforts for diligent enforcement of the Tobacco Act, particularly sections that protect initiation and the health of young ones, says Akinbode Oluwafemi, CAPPA Executive Director.

He added: “Those provisions in the Tobacco Act that are targeted at protecting the youth include the ban of tobacco advertisement sponsorship and promotion, ban on the sale of tobacco to, or by minors, and smoke-free public places, among others.

“Apart from those measures, there is also the need to raise tobacco taxes so they are priced beyond the reach of our children and the ban of the sale of tobacco products around schools and educational institutions.”

CAPPA commended the NFVCB for introducing the regulation on the glamorization of smoking in Nigerian movies, saying the Board has taken a globally applauded step to block a major tool used by the tobacco industry to lure the youth into smoking.

“Our children should enjoy healthy screens. We applaud the censors board for this timely, public health-driven regulation which has also been commended by a great number of practitioners in the Nigerian movie industry and will be looking forward to its effective enforcement, Oluwafemi further stated.

World No Tobacco Day was initiated in 1987 by the WHO to raise awareness about the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate for policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

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