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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Winners emerge in ERA’s Tobacco Control Challenge

The grand finale of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) Tobacco Control Rap Challenge held on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at a ceremony in Lagos attended by tobacco control advocates and youth groups.

ERA/FoEN Tobacco Control Rap Challenge
Participants at the ERA/FoEN Tobacco Control Rap Challenge

The competition, which started on September 2, targeted creating awareness on enforcement of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act 2015 and Tobacco Regulations to the youths through a music competition tagged #TCRapChallenge and #EnforceTCRegNow.

Provisions of the NTC Act that the campaign promotes are the ban on sale of cigarettes in single sticks and ban on sale of cigarettes to minors. The Regulations were approved by the National Assembly in May 2019.

The winner of the competition was Okuguni Efemena Ferdinand based in Lagos who received a cash gift of N150,000. First runner up was Udeng Bennet Etido based in Enugu who received N100,000. Adeogun Joy Yinka based in Oyo, Atiku Godswill Goddy from Abuja and Udeng Otobong Bennet from Anambra each got N50, 000.

ERA/FoEN Social Media Officer, Adewunmi Adeniyi, said: “The TCRap Challenge is a reflection of ERA/FoEN belief that the youth are crucial in tobacco control. From the diversity of the winners, it can be concluded that Nigerian youths yearn for effective regulation of tobacco products and reject tobacco industry attempts to conscript them into the smoking habit.

“Our knowledge of how the tobacco industry targets the youths made us conceive this initiative to reach the same audience that the tobacco industry targets as replacement smokers.”

The winners will get studio sessions, tobacco control branded T-shirts, phones and cash prizes, among other gifts.

ERA/FoEN Deputy Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said: “We are happy that the youths targeted by tobacco companies have demonstrated through music that despite the tobacco industry strategies to grow replacement smokers, they can make the right choices.”

The TC Rap Challenge received nearly 400 entries and participants on ERA/FoEN social media platforms. The platforms recorded over one million reach on Facebook, and over 500,000 reach on Instagram, officials disclosed.

They added that, during the campaign, the hashtag #TCRapChallenge and #EnforceTCRegNow trended two times within two weeks of commencement, generated over 1,180 tweets with 480 retweets and 550 replies during the campaign. 

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