Stop promotion of smoking scenes in BBNaija series!

Era released a press statement on the recent display of smoking scenes in the ongoing #BBNaija show, this was seen as unhealthy to the young ones who are seeing the show, on this note a press release was done to caution them on the continuous promotion of smoking scenes in the show.

Read the full statement below:

We want to renew our appreciation for your sustained reporting of tobacco control issues, and particularly the very enlightening reports on dangers of delayed implementation of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act.

The anti-tobacco community has no doubt that the media is indeed a worthy partner in the pursuit of a healthy and qualitative life for every Nigerian.  We must note that in the last few weeks there have been some very interesting developments, one of which, is the Resolution sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu at the Senate asking the federal ministry of health to lead the enforcement of the prohibition of Tobacco Advertising Promotion and Sponsorships (TAPS) around schools.

The Senator relied heavily on the Big Tobacco Tiny Targets Nigeria Report which stemmed from a survey carried out by the Environmental Rights Action and our partners – the Nigeria Tobacco Control Research Group (NTCRG) which was publicly presented October 2017.

Cheery as this news is, we are not in any way going to sleep because we know the tobacco industry will continue exploiting any available loophole to market their deadly ware to our kids.

On this sad note, we will like to expose another front that the tobacco industry has exploited to lure unsuspecting youths to smoking.

Big Brother Naija 2018 Controversy

Nigerians were shocked to the marrows on February 13 when smoking scenes were glamourized in the current series of the Big Brother Naija2018 series themed Double Wahala. In a clip in the particular edition, two housemates – Khloe and Teddy A are seen puffing away after Khloe had a very heated argument with fellow housemates.

The smoking scene we refer to not only generated shock among Nigerians but also sparked calls for the BBNaija series to be banned.

Thinking that the organisers would be remorseful after that show of shame, we learnt that Miracle –who is the new head of the house announced a ban on alcohol and smoking. But wait for it. That ban is only until Friday (February 23).

For us, this arrogant and very disturbing trend has gone beyond the limits in offending the sensibilities of Nigerians who watch the series, many with their kids.

Remarks on the subject credited to the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie is even less consoling. Prodded by her followers on her Twitter page to do something about the BBNaija smoking scene, the special assistant was said to have reacted harshly by saying the government had no power to move against immoralities in the show as it was an adult programme. According to her, the show was not compulsory to watch.

Her advice to parents is to use their remote control to change the channel whenever obscenity is shown. For us, this is hardly the answer that Nigerians want and we find it very disturbing.

Our Immediate Demands

  • The Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) should sanction  Multichoice owners of DSTV and GoTV over the  promoting smoking scenes on the BBNaija Series
  • Government at all levels and the relevant agencies should begin enforcement of the nine key provisions of the NTC Act that prohibits smoking in public places and bans sale of cigarettes in single sticks, among others.
  • Relevant agencies of government such as the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and the security services begin a clampdown on infractions
  • The Federal Ministry of Health should urgently send the draft Regulations to the National Assembly for approval

The enforcement of the NTC Act should no longer be delayed. Time to Act is now

Thank You

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