DREAM campaigns tobacco-free society on World No Tobacco Day
For a tobacco-free society

DREAM campaigns tobacco-free society on World No Tobacco Day

4 June 2024
- Fr George PS

The DREAM (Drug Rehabilitation Education and Mentoring) team from BREADS (Bangalore Rural Educational And Development Society) engaged the youth in various districts in Kerala, India, to warn and protect them from tobacco use on 31st May, World No Tobacco Day. The awareness program offered help to quit tobacco use and enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

The district DREAM teams collaborated with various sections of society, to highlight the impact of tobacco use in Indian families, especially the youth. In Kannur, interactions, activities, and discussions with tribal youth helped them learn more about choosing a tobacco-free life. The team focused on enabling parents with practical guidance to make proactive choices for the well-being of their families.

Similarly, in Wayanad, the Excise Officers helped the DREAM staff to spread awareness among the youth. In Thiruvananthapuram, armed with information resources, the team took to the streets and public spots to sensitize the public on tobacco addiction and resources for help. The timely information motivated a person to visit the local DREAM centre for counselling. In Kollam, public awareness programs included a flash mob and street play, supported by officials of the Child Welfare Committee and Excise department.

In Kasargod, parents and panchayat officials were made collectively responsible as role models to foster a safe, substance-free and healthy environment for children. In Thrissur, the DREAM staff together with Excise officials and college National Social Service (NSS) and National Cadet Corps’ (NCC) students, took a pledge to avoid tobacco. Through a game, the students symbolically bowled out tobacco from their lives.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), children use e-cigarettes at higher rates than adults everywhere and globally, an estimated 37 million youth aged 13–15years use tobacco. In a survey conducted by India Today, 23% of the college kids in India use e-cigarettes.

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