A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Smoke-Free Nollywood and the National Film and Video Censors Board(NFVCB) have launched a digital media campaign to discourage smoking scenes in home movies watched by children.

The Creative Director, Smoke Free Nollywood, Ms. Esther Aghotor, announced this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to her, a visual Public Service Announcement (PSA) on the harmful effects smoking in movies has on children, was jointly released on social media platforms by the two organisations on Tuesday.

Aghotor explained that the PSA advocacy video titled “Children are watching” was endorsed by the Federal Ministries of Health, Information and Culture as well as other stakeholders.

“Today, the #SmokeFreeNollywood campaign and the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) launched a public service announcement (PSA) on smoking in films watched by children.

“The PSA video titled “Children are watching” showcased the harmful effects of smoking in movies significantly as they influence underage members of their audience.

“According to research, more than one-third of current adult smokers started smoking due to the influence of film.

“The partnership with the National Film and Video Censors Board shows the agency’s commitment to promoting public health and safety of movie watchers, particularly children who are the most impressionable members of the society.

“Recall that the Nigeria National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act of 2015 and the NTC Regulations 2019 prohibit the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products in entertainment,” she said.

The PSA video, among other cast, features veteran actress and filmmaker Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, who called on her industry colleagues to avoid promoting tobacco products in movies in the interest of public health.

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According to the World Health Organisation, over 370,000 Nigerians smoke cigarettes and tobacco is the leading cause of cancers globally.

The #SmokeFreeNollywood had in 2021 released an entertainment industry PSA in support of the campaign from influential Nollywood stars, including Jalade-Ekeinde, Dakore Egbuson-Akande.

Others included Osas Ighodaro, Anto Lecky, Meg Otanwa, Michelle Dede, Kayode Kasum, Daniel Effiong, Linda Ejiofor, Kiki Omeili, and Imoh Emmanuel Chimezie.

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