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Over 5 Million Nigerian Youths Addicted To Cigarette Smoking – CAPPA

Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has raised  the alarm on the escalating cigarette addiction crisis among Nigerian youth, revealing that over five million young Nigerians are hooked on smoking. 

This distressing statistic was disclosed during a National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke-free Nollywood, held in Enugu.

The event was aimed at addressing the influence of smoking in the film industry.

Akinbode Oluwafemi, CAPPA’s Executive Director, highlighted the dire consequences of tobacco addiction.

 He noted that tobacco smoking has claimed more than 80 million lives globally, with 75% of these deaths occurring in developing countries, including Nigeria.

Oluwafemi emphasized that the country faces a severe health challenge, with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) causing approximately 25% of all deaths.

“Nigeria’s future is bleak with over 5 million youths aged between 15 and 25 addicted to smoking cigarettes alone,” said Oluwafemi. 

“Our collective responsibility, not just as movie practitioners and industry experts but also as parents, is to rise to the occasion and act to protect our children and prepare for a smoke-free future.”

The event, organized by CAPPA in collaboration with the National Films and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), brought together filmmakers, actors, and media practitioners to discuss the impact of tobacco portrayal in movies. 

The stakeholders agreed that the glamorization of smoking in films contributes significantly to youth addiction.

Dr. Shaibu Husseni, the Executive Director of NFVCB, echoed these concerns, pointing out the detrimental effects of smoking depictions in the media.

 “Portraying smoking in videos and the media industry jeopardizes a society already struggling with various vices,” said Husseni.

 He called on filmmakers to self-regulate to avoid mandatory censorship.

The engagement underscored the influential role of the film industry in shaping societal norms and behaviors. 

Husseni stressed the importance of ensuring that films, music videos, and skits are free from the depiction and glamorization of harmful substances, violence, and other criminal acts.

“As you all know, the film industry occupies a central position in the entertainment and creative sector.

“ It is imperative that we continue to place a high premium on the progress of the film industry by ensuring that films and other media works do not glamorize harmful behaviors,” Husseni stated. 

He praised CAPPA for its proactive efforts to reach out to developers and regulators to address the issue.

The NFVCB, established by Decree No. 85 of 1993, now CAP N40, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, plays a crucial role in regulating the film industry. 

The board is responsible for censoring and classifying both local and foreign films, licensing distributors, and regulating the distribution and exhibition of films across the country.

Husseni noted, “Since the inception of the NFVCB, the Nigerian film industry has evolved remarkably in terms of the number of movies produced and their quality.”

 He called for a united effort to build a smoke-free society and maintain Nigeria’s leading position in the African film industry.

The stakeholders’ engagement concluded with a call to action for all involved in the film and entertainment industry to collaborate towards creating a healthier future for Nigeria’s youth, free from the influence of tobacco addiction.

 

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