Indigenous language as a tool for MPOWER component 4
Bukola Mercy 1  
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Educare Trust, Nigeria
TaBHealth Initiative, Nigeria
Publish date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A755
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Over the last decade, tobacco use in Nigeria has been on the increase due the growth of illicit trade of tobacco products and a lack of political will to enact and enforce comprehensive tobacco control laws. The numerical increase in tobacco users can be attributed to a low understanding of its health risks regardless of the health warnings on cigarette packs.

Though there is paucity of data on mass media campaigns to warn about the dangers of tobacco, observational research revealed the existence of billboards along some highways in rural Nigeria. This paper attempts to highlight the use of mass media such as billboards and buses as an education tool for component 4 of MPOWER which seeks to warn about the dangers of tobacco.

The billboards depicting the consequences of tobacco use are positioned in regions of low literacy levels hence its message is not understood. 65% of respondents aged 14-42 in these regions do not understand the message of the billboards while 35% knew the 'No smoking' symbol but not the words. Almost all the respondents could read the words of a political aspirant as it was written in their local language. Only about 13% of the respondents believed that smoking was a good habit. 75% percent of the respondents aged 14-30 admitted to not continuing tobacco use into their old age but had no idea how to quit.

It will be beneficial that mass media tobacco control warnings are written and broadcast in the native languages of the target audience to boost its impact. Billboards, Automobiles and walls should be utilized as tools for education and behavior change communication in rural regions of Nigeria and Africa. This will accelerate the objective of the implementation of the Nigerian Tobacco Control Law.