Tobacco smoking kills 8m people annually – CAPPA

Executive Director, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Akinbode Oluwafemi, Tuesday, said tobacco smoking killed over 8 million people all over the world annually.

Out of this number, Oluwafemi said 75% took place in the developing countries while in Nigeria alone, 5 million young Nigerians are addicted to cigarette smoking, thereby endangering their lives.

The CAPPA boss made the startling revelation in Enugu Tuesday at the National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke Free Nollywood held at Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu and organised by CAPPA in conjunction with the National Films and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) for film makers, actors, and media practitioners.

“Tobacco is a killer. Tobacco currently kills over 8 million people globally with 75% of that coming from the developing countries.  Nigeria currently faces a double-burden of non-communicable diseases which is responsible for about 25% of all the deaths in our country,” he said.

He lamented that Nigeria’s future is bleak with over 4 million youth aged 15 years addicted to smoking cigarettes alone not to talk of other harmful substances people indulge in.

“With more than 5 million young Nigerians aged 15 years addicted to smoking cigarettes, our jobs, not just movie practitioners and industry experts but also parents, is to rise to the occasion and act right to protect our children and prepare for a smoke- free future.”

Oluwafemi stated that because of the harmful effect of smoking, especially on the youth, there have been regulations to curtail its consumption and advertisement and as a result, tobacco producers have resorted to the film and entertainment industry to market their products, a move the stakeholder’s engagement is aimed to stop.

Also speaking, the executive director, National Films and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, Dr. Shaibu Husseni, lamented the harmful effect of smoking, saying portraying it in videos and media industry will jeopardise the society that is already replete with vices.