A Qualitative Analysis of Selected Stakeholders’ Viewpoints on Tobacco Control in Nigeria

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Abstract

Nigeria is a signatory to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. However, tobacco control efforts have been fraught with challenges. These challenges cannot be presumed to be independent of tobacco industry manipulation. We examined submissions and viewpoints from prominent tobacco control stakeholders across social, administrative, and political strata to identify convergence with tobacco industry viewpoints. We illustrate how these convergences pose a threat to effective tobacco control in Nigeria. A thematic analysis of stakeholder viewpoints was conducted on submissions to the national assembly during the Tobacco Control Bill public hearings and various industry documents. Areas of convergence with tobacco industry narratives were then explored. Significant convergence in views was observed between government agencies, social groups, and the tobacco industry. These were for narratives on constitution of a National Tobacco Control Committee, use of automated vending machines, designation of smoking areas, report to regulatory agencies, and negative effect of tobacco control on trade and poverty. There was evidence of tobacco industry interference in tobacco control efforts, which manifested in some prominent tobacco control stakeholders adopting the narratives of the tobacco industry. We advocate a constant watchfulness over the activities of these stakeholders and a proactive engagement with evidence-based antitobacco dialogue.

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