From Daniel Kanu
Worried by the growing evidence linking the entertainment industry with the uptake of tobacco use and given its impact on public health, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), and other stakeholders have agreed to escalate its awareness creation and education in the movies and entertainment sectors.
This according to stakeholders is to ensure compliance with national laws especially the NTC Act 2015.
The Stakeholder Roundtable event on the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and the National Tobacco Control Regulations 2019 as they relate to smoking in movies, took place, yesterday, Friday, 10th December, in Lagos.
The event was officially hosted by the National Films and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB) with technical support from Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA).
The meeting brought together regulators and a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the movies and entertainment sector including producers, scriptwriters, distributors, and exhibitors as well as veteran and current actors and actresses, including public health experts.
Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director/CEO of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) read the communique.
Part of the observations made among others is that “Smoking in movies and the entertainment sector is a pathway to young people embracing smoking.
“That the tobacco industry uses the sophisticated marketing mix to promote smoking on set and in the entertainment sector.
“That entertainment stakeholders are deliberately targeted by the tobacco industry either through financial inducement, misinformation, and other subtle approaches to further the glamourization of smoking in the movies and entertainment sector.
“That awareness on the dangers of smoking in movies and the entertainment sector in the digital media space is still low.
“That the national legislation does not sufficiently capture the growing shisha use and emerging alternative products such as e-cigarettes.”
At the end of the robust discussions, it was agreed that in a communique: “That the NFVCB will escalate its awareness creation and education among relevant stakeholders in the movies and entertainment sectors to ensure compliance with national laws especially the NTC Act 2015 and the NTC Regulations 2019 in relation to the ban on tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorships.
“That the NFVCB will ensure that all practitioners henceforth adhere to the relevant laws of Nigeria particularly as it pertains to smoking in movies in their film productions.
“That the NFVCB, which has the mandate of providing an enabling environment for the growth of the film industry through its activities, will continue to work with relevant practitioners and experts to put in place adequate measures to ensure the environment remains conducive.
“That the NFVCB will sustain its engagements and consultation with relevant stakeholders in the movie and entertainment sector to ensure film classification are appropriate and up to date.
“That NFVCB prioritises classification of movies with smoking scenes and tobacco depiction. The NFVCB will ensure they are enforced to the letter.
“That the operationalization of the Tobacco Control Fund will open opportunities for movies and entertainment sector operators to play crucial roles in awareness creation and sensitization in relation to smoking in movies. It will also be appropriate that the NFVCB and practitioners be represented in the operationalization of the fund.”