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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Groups to partner Yoruba film producers to end smoking in movies

The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) and the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation  Africa (CAPPA) have met with the executives of the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) in continuation of the campaign against smoking in movies and music videos.

No smoking in movies
L-R: Actor, Shokoti Alagbede; CAPPA Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor; NTCA representative, Adepeju Adeogun; and Otunba Bolaji Amusan, aka Mr. Latin, during the visit by NTCA/CAPPA in Ibadan, Oyo State

The groups held a meeting with the association’s executives on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at the TAMPAN Ibadan headquarters, to further discussions kickstarted earlier this month on the inadvertent and sometimes conscious promotion of cigarettes and smoking in Nigerian movies and music videos.

NTCA representative, Adepeju Adeogun said that the visit was necessitated by the enviable role that the Yoruba movie producers and actors play in deepening indigenous culture and their influence on the youths.

Adeogun explained that the portrayal of smoking in a favourable light in indigenous films was in contravention of the provisions prohibiting tobacco advertising and promotion and sponsorships in the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act 2015 and the NTC Regulations 2019, even as she added that it is now time to co-opt industry practitioners in addressing the situation.

The NTCA team led by Oluseun Esan had earlier in the month visited stakeholders within and outside the Nigerian film industry including the Advertisers Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Kannywood members in Kano, and the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), among a host of others.

Responding during the visit to TAMPAN Headquarters in Ibadan, Otunba Bolaji Amusan, aka Mr. Latin, welcomed the prospect of partnering with civil society and government in enforcing the prohibition of TAPS in movies.

He explained that it was a civic duty on the part of the Yoruba movie producers under TAMPAN that would go a long way in safeguarding the health of the citizenry and particularly the youths who are impressionable.

In a similar vein, TAMPAN Legal Adviser, Barrister Femi Adebayo, said the discussion was timely in view of the growing tobacco menace in the country. He said it was necessary to explore various possibilities in passing the tobacco message to the youths and Nigerians at large, including producing advocacy films.

Earlier, CAPPA Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor, said that the task of eradicating smoking in movies required collaboration with critical stakeholders in the movie and music video industry. He cited global examples that could also be replicated in Nigeria, even as he insisted that the Yoruba movie producers and actors, because of their wide reach, were well positioned to play a role in bringing an end to smoking in movies.

The highpoint of the visit was the presentation of factsheets, posters, branded T-shirts with inscriptions demanding an end to smoking in Nollywood, nose masks and face caps, among a host of other souvenirs to the association.

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