By Gabriel Ewepu and Alice Ekpang – Abuja
As Nigeria joins the global community to celebrate 2021 World No Tobacco Day, Nollywood celebrities in Nigeria, Monday, have pledged to stop the promotion of tobacco products in Nigerian movie scenes.
This was contained in a statement signed by Creative Director, Gatefield, Esther Aghotor, and made available to Vanguard, where high profile Nollywood producers, directors, actors and actresses have come out to declare that promotion of tobacco products in Nigeria movies targeting children must stop.
The celebrities joined forces with the #SmokeFreeNollywood campaign backed by Washington DC-based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids in collaboration with public strategy firm, Gatefield, in commemorating the World No Tobacco Day 2021.
According to the statement celebrities involved in the campaign include Omotola Jalade Ekeinde (Actress and TIME 100 most influential persons in the world), Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Osas Ighodaro (Actress, Oxfam and Amnesty International Ambassador), Anto Lecky (Actress and Big Brother Nigeria Star), Meg Otanwa (Actress), Michelle Dede (Actress), Kayode Kasum (Film Director, Sugar Rush), Daniel Effiong, (Actor), Linda Ejiofor (Actress), Kiki Omeili (Actress), and Imoh Emmanuel Chimezie (Actor) and others.
According to the World Health Organisation, 370,000 children in Nigeria smoke daily. Research shows that a significant percentage of current adult smokers were influenced by movies.
The statement also added that 37 per cent of these smokers started smoking as children due to the influence of movies that are created, where the celebrities said in the PSA and took responsibility and pledged to make amends.