Nigeria Introduces Historic Measures… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Nigeria Introduces Historic Measures to Warn Moviegoers about the Harms of Smoking and Tobacco Use in Nollywood Films

Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President and CEO of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
May 23, 2024

Washington, D.C. – The Nigerian government today announced that it would adopt new measures to limit how tobacco can be depicted in films produced in Nollywood, one of the world’s largest film industries. It is the first such measure in Africa and a significant step to cut off one of the most enduring ways tobacco companies target youth. 

Under the new measures, films depicting tobacco or nicotine use must display health warning labels on screen at the beginning and end of films, in addition to warnings that will appear on screen during scenes depicting tobacco or nicotine use. Additionally, the measures prohibit tobacco and nicotine brands from being displayed on screen and prevent brand marketing in films. The measures cover movies, music videos and skits produced in Nollywood and also prohibit tobacco advertising at movie premieres and screenings. 

In Nigeria and around the world, the world’s largest multinational tobacco companies have aggressively turned to celebrities, influencers, streaming platforms and social media to market their addictive products to young people across a variety of platforms.  

Last year, India became the first country in the world to regulate how tobacco use could be depicted on streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. The measures introduced by Nigeria and India prove that governments can intervene to protect their citizens and prevent the next generation from repeated exposure to tobacco and nicotine products on their screens.  

In February this year, 183 parties to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) adopted new measures to restrict tobacco advertising in entertainment and social media. The new measures adopted by Nigeria reflect the country’s commitment to fulfilling its obligations to this lifesaving public health treaty. 

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids congratulates the government of Nigeria for sending such a resounding message to Africa and to the world – these measures will protect millions of lives and represent a historic step for tobacco control in Africa.