Groups call for sanction on BBNaija organisers over violation of smoking ban

THE Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) and the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) have called on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction organisers of the Big Brother Naija show.

According to a letter signed by the Executive Director of CAPPA Akinbode Oluwafemi and Programme Manager of NTCA Chibuike Nwokorie, the organisers had violated the directive by the NBC against the display of smoking scenes on the Reality TV show.

The groups noted that housemates were shown smoking on August 2, 5, 10, 11 and 13, 2021, which could result in the assimilation of the habit by children.

“The kids, generally impressionable, are enticed by what they see and are initiated into using tobacco products through advertising and subliminal promotion of smoking scenes in movies, music videos and product placements,” it read.

    The groups also noted the negative impact of advertising such habits, considering the ongoing battle against COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Big Brother Naija Show has a great impression on the youths, and it is unfortunate that smoking scenes are being promoted at a time that research has shown that smokers are more susceptible to developing complications or even death if they contract the Coronavirus,” they said.

    Prior to the commencement of the show in July, NTCA and CAPPA had petitioned NBC to ban smoking on the show, after which the commission issued a directive restraining organisers from displaying smoking scenes.

    They had referred to the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and the National Tobacco Control Regulations 2019 prohibiting Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship (TAPS) in Nigeria.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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