The National Tobacco Control Act, 2015 prescribes a ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS). In Nigeria, the tobacco industry has continued to promote its products from subtle to bold glamourisation of smoking in movies, with the aim of capturing the teeming Nigerian youth population as replacement smokers for the dying smoking population.
Responding to this challenge, the NTCA, on January 24, 2023 hosted a webinar to sensitize the public on the tactics of the tobacco industry and how they can protect their health and minds.
Mr. Philip Jakpor, Director of Programmes at Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa provided information on the meaning of ‘Smoke-free Nollywood’, just as Barr. Michael Olaniyan, Technical Resource Person for West Africa at the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, explained that e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (shisha, pouches, etc.) falsely marketed as safer alternatives to traditional tobacco products (cigarettes, snuff, etc.) carry grave health consequences. The Sub-Regional Coordinator for West Africa, at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Mrs. Hilda Ochefu, gave participants further information on tobacco control advocacy, ending with a call to participants to take up advocacy for public health, particularly tobacco control.
Participants included; Chairperson of the National Tobacco Control Committee, Dr. Bridget Okoeguale; Chairman of the NTCA, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi; and representatives from the African Tobacco Control Alliance. Government officials, alliance members, academicians, students, youth corps members, development partners and public health advocates also took active part in the webinar.