Big Brother Naija has been accused of promoting smoking among housemates since its debut, according to the organisations. The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) and the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) sent a petition to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Friday, requesting that smoking be prohibited in Big Brother Naija Season 6, which premieres later this month.
In a letter to NBC Director General Babalola Shehu Ilelah titled Big Brother Naija Season 6: NBC Should Enforce Ban of Smoking in the Entertainment Sector, CAPPA and NTCA praised the agency for barring nudity on the show.
However, it requested NBC to broaden its scope to include smoking, which they claim is glamorized on the show.
Housemates who smoke in the BBNaija home, according to the organisations, make a lasting effect on the kids at a time when the Nigerian government is working hard to curb smoking initiation.
‘‘It is especially worse at a time when the country is combating the COVID -19 pandemic because it has been known that smokers have a higher risk of developing problems or even death if they get the coronavirus,” they continued.
Big Brother briefly prohibited the housemates from drinking alcohol, smoking, or using swear words during season 3 of the reality television show in 2018. Miracle, the new Head of House at the time, declared a temporary ban on aggressive language and intoxication. After a while, the prohibition was lifted.
What You Should Know About the Law
The letter, signed by Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director of CAPPA, and Chibuike Nwokorie, Programme Manager of the National Tobacco Control Authority, drew NBC’s attention to the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and the National Tobacco Control Regulations 2019. Tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship are expressly prohibited under both legislation (TAPS).
Tobacco advertising and promotion is defined in Section 12(1) of the NTC Act as “any type of commercial communication, recommendation, or action having the goal, effect, or likely impact of directly or indirectly promoting a tobacco product or tobacco use.”
“No one shall promote or advertise tobacco or tobacco products in any form,” the section adds.
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