Smoke-Free Nollywood, a civil society organisation, and the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) launched a digital media campaign earlier in the week to discourage smoking scenes in-home movies intended for children.
Ms Esther Aghotor, the Creative Director of Smoke-Free Nollywood, speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Abuja, said that smoking in movies had adverse psychological effects on children.
According to her, research shows that more than one-third of current adult smokers began smoking due to the influence of movies.
“The campaign video titled ‘Children are watching’ highlights the hazardous impacts of smoking in movies, as they have a substantial impact on minor members of their audience,” she said.
“The National Film and Video Censors Board’s partnership demonstrates the agency’s commitment to promoting public health and safety among audiences, particularly children, who are the most impressionable members of society.”
Aghotor revealed that the video includes experienced actress and filmmaker Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, who has called on her industry colleagues to cease promoting tobacco products in films for the interest of public health.
Over 370,000 Nigerians smoke cigarettes, according to the World Health Organisation, and tobacco is the leading cause of cancer worldwide.
The Nigerian National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act of 2015 and the NTC Regulations 2019 prohibit tobacco product advertising, promotion, and sponsorship in entertainment, “Aghotor noted.
In 2021, the #SmokeFreeNollywood campaign released an entertainment industry Public Service Announcement in support of the campaign, including Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Dakore Egbuson-Akande, among others.