The Nigerian movie Industry popularly called Nollywood is one of the largest film industries globally by output, and ranks third in the world in terms of revenue, sharing similarities to Bollywood of India which is the largest film producer in the world.
Another important area of commonality between the two countries is their population; while Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, India is the second most populous country in the world. This makes both countries attractive to diverse economic interests, including the tobacco industry and its poisonous products.
In a bid to sell its products, and initiate young people into lifelong addiction to tobacco, the tobacco industry always seeks to undermine laws banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
While strict compliance is enforced for traditional media, the tobacco industry targets movies for brand placements, tobacco depiction and glamourization.
Facilitated by Bintou Camara of CTFK, Vandana Sha and Jaspreet Kaur Pal, who are both instrumental to influencing policies on smoke-free movies in India, met with tobacco control advocates from the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, and Gatefield on the 25th of October, 2023, in Abuja to share lessons learnt from their experience.
With one of the largest youth populations in the world the quest to make Nigerian movies smoke-free and stop initiations into tobacco use through movies remains top priority.