Society petitions Netflix, others over tobacco scenes in movies | Dailytrust

Society petitions Netflix, others over tobacco scenes in movies

The Nigeria Cancer Society (NCS) has called for the removal of tobacco scenes from Nollywood movies.

The society made the call on Friday in a statement as part of activities to commemorate this year’s World Cancer Day.

The statement jointly signed by President, NCS, Dr. Adamu Alhassan Umar and Creative Director, #SmokeFreeNollywood, Ms. Esther Aghotor, also petitioned the Netflix, FilmOne, Ebonylife and others over the issue.

They said tobacco use is responsible for the deaths of over 70,000 Nigerians, where movies influenced more than one-third of them to start the habit.

“Many Nollywood films today contain smoking scenes that glamourise the use of tobacco products such as cigarettes, and Shisha and unconsciously recruit viewers into damaging habits that harm their health,” they said.

The statement quoted Umar as saying that the campaign became imperative as tobacco use was found to be the leading cause of cancer.

He said that cancer is responsible for the deaths of 70,000 Nigerians annually as about a third of smokers picked such a habit through movie influence.

He said, “Tobacco kills up to half of its users and leaves others with a lifetime of health complications. Tobacco is responsible for lung, mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, larynx, colon, rectum, and cervix cancers. There is no safe or relaxed level of tobacco use.:

He also called on Nollywood filmmakers, particularly streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, and distributors such as FilmOne, Genesis, and Ebony Life, to remove tobacco use from movies.

He said the call is in line with the Nigerian Tobacco Control Act (NTC Act) that prohibits tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.

Umar said, “Films depicting historical tobacco users as characters must contain strong anti-smoking narratives and health warnings. Many filmmakers globally are already toeing this path in the interest of public health.

“As responsible corporate citizens, we are responsible for protecting our audience, particularly the young ones. A smoke-free Nollywood can help save lives and defeat cancer.”

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