Group uses ‘rap challenge’ for awareness on Nigeria’s tobacco control law

The UN health agency warned that tobacco’s killer toxins also wreak havoc on the environment. [Photo:]

Less than a week of the opening of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) Tobacco Control Rap Challenge, more than 50 entries have been recorded.

The competition creates awareness on enforcement of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act 2015 and Tobacco Regulations to the youths through a music competition tagged #TCRapChallenge and #EnforceTCRegNow.

Provisions of the NTC Act that the campaign is promoting include ban on sale of cigarettes in single sticks and ban on sale of cigarettes to minors. The Regulations approved by the National Assembly in May 2019, when gazetted, gives teeth to sections of the Act hitherto unenforceable.

In a statement issued in Lagos, ERA/FoEN said the exercise tagged ‘Rap Challenge: Sing to Promote Enforcement of the Tobacco Control Laws’ complements efforts of agencies like the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCPCC) which commenced enforcement of the Act in December 2018. The competition started on September 2 and runs till the end of the month.

Winners will get studio sessions, tobacco control branded T-shirts, phones and cash prizes, among other gifts.

ERA/FoEN Deputy Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “The TC rap challenge is about innovation and bringing out the creativity in our youth. Since they are the major target of the tobacco industry, we must also conscript them into the fight to roll back the tobacco menace through implementation of the law.”

Mr Oluwafemi said the tobacco industry continues to hatch strategies to grow replacement smokers, so all hands must be on deck to ensure the youths are informed so that they can make the right choices.

“We are complementing the work of government because we believe ‘Catching them young’ is the way to go if the battle against tobacco addiction is to be won in the country”.

For the competition, participants are to make a one-minute video of themselves rapping/singing on a beat which can be downloaded and post by tagging the @tobaccoctrl on Twitter and Facebook while Instagram is @tobaccocontrol with the hashtag #TCRapChallenge and #EnforceTCRegNow


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