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NTCA reads riot act to Big Brother Naija over on-screen smoking

The Big Brother Naija (BBN) producers have received a letter from the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) warning them not to allow their contestants to smoke on camera.

The program, which was broadcast on the GOTV and DSTV networks, outraged the public in 2021 when its contestants openly smoked on live television.

Chibuike Nwokorie, the NTCA Program Officer, called on the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to aggressively engage the show’s organizers before it begins its seventh session to guarantee that the violations from the previous year don’t occur again.

When participants in the program, which was broadcast on the GOTV and DSTV networks, openly smoked on live television in 2021, it outraged the nation.

At a press conference, NTCA Program Officer Chibuike Nwokorie attracted the attention of the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to actively engage the organizers of the event, which is scheduled to begin its 7th session, to guarantee that the violations from the previous year do not occur again.

The group vowed to use relevant sections of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act, which carries a maximum fine of $5,000,000 and/or a maximum sentence of 6 months to 5 years in prison for violators.

According to Article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the group charged government organizations in charge of enforcing the NTC Act and its Regulations to cooperate and see that the ban on direct and indirect tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorship is fully implemented in Nigeria.

It noted: “We wish to make it clear that should there be a reluctance on the part of the regulators or the organizers to ensure a smoke-free program, we will explore every available option in the interest of public health.

“It is important to note that entertainment products set the agenda for many young people because they are the eyes through which they see the world.

“We call on the NBC to exercise its mandate to ensure that BBN does not flout any provision of the NTC Act and should any of the provisions be flouted, the Commission must enforce to full effect such penalties as listed in the law.

“We also call on the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) to caution its members from flouting tobacco CONtrol laws and ensure that they abide by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria including the NTC Act.

Culled from Vanguard

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