Working with the Media to Expose Tobacco Industry Interference

“Make tobacco control topical and interesting for the media. Make media your friend. Ensure your information is solid and check its veracity. The media trusts us.”
Philip Jakpor
Corporate Accountability & Public Participation Africa, Nigeria


Nigeria’s population is over 200 million people, half of whom are youths. Nigeria is a major hub for the tobacco industry in Africa. The main tobacco companies operating in Nigeria are BAT and International Tobacco Company. Nigeria ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2005, domesticated into National Tobacco Control Act in 2015. Due to tobacco industry interference, the implementing regulations were adopted only in 2019.

Poor Implementation of the Law

There is evidence of unnecessary interaction between the tobacco industry and government officials. While Nigeria’s National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and the National Tobacco Control Regulations 2019 provide for transparency and accountability in government dealings with the tobacco industry, poor implementation has led to government officials holding meetings without publicly divulging details. The tobacco industry still able to participate in policy development and also engage government officials in so-called corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in various sectors, especially agriculture.

Working with the Media

CAPPA launched Nigeria’s Tobacco Industry Interference Index by holding a press briefing in Lagos together with tobacco control partners, Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance. The index was distributed widely along with a press statement. The press briefing was followed up with many interviews on TV, radio and newspapers. Findings of the index received wide coverage in the media.[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii]

Placing the Index in the Hands of the Government

The index was distributed to various policy makers including the Ministry of Health and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. As the Index received wide coverage in the media about the tobacco industry’s “web of interactions”,[viii] it is important the officials received the report and were able to consider the evidence on industry interference. Civil society has an important role in tobacco control we are ready to work shoulder to shoulder with the government to ensure our recommendations are considered. 

About Corporate Accountability & Public Participation Africa: CAPPA works to advance human rights, challenge corporate abuse of our natural resources and build community power for inclusive development and participatory governance.

[i] Premium Times. How tobacco industry interferes in Nigerian, other African countries’ policies – Report. 27 October 2021. Available from:
[ii] Street Journal. Tobacco industry interfering with public health policies, CAPPA raises the alarm. 28 October 2021. Available from:
[iii] Daily Sun. Industry interference major challenge to effective tobacco control-CAPPA, 29 October 2021. Available from:
[iv] Voice of Nigeria. CAPPA alerts on tobacco industry interference in govt policies. 29 October 2021. Available from:
[v] Premium Times. Tobacco industry undermining Nigeria’s tobacco control regulation – Group. 30 October 2021. Available from:
[vi] Vanguard. Interference report justifies our call to de-normalize tobacco industry CSR- CAPPA. 8 November 2021. Available from:
[vii] Nigerian Tribune. Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2021 Reinforces Need To Checkmate Industry Influence In Nigeria, Others. 9 November 2021. Available from:
[viii] Vanguard Nigeria. Interference report justifies our call to de-normalize tobacco industry CSR- CAPPA, Vanguard. 8 November 2021. Available from: