Tomorrow, May 31 marks the World No Tobacco Day. The global “Don’t Start Smoking” campaign was spearheaded by the World Health Organization with the goal of eradicating tobacco and nicotine addiction among the youth. This year’s #WNTD2020 celebration focuses on the alleged manipulation tactics used by the tobacco industry to popularize tobacco and nicotine use among young people by making the product more accessible and more attractive to the young market.https://www.who.int/news-room/campaigns/world-no-tobacco-day/world-no-tobacco-day-2020
As a cascade, the global community launched this campaign with two-pronged objectives:
- to educate the youth about the health harms of tobacco use and debunking myths and misconceptions about the “safety” of Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) and Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery System (ENNDS)
- to inform smokers and non-smokers about the possible health impacts of smoking and vaping during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Philippines, the “Don’t Start Smoking” campaign is spearheaded by Smoke-Free Philippines, in partnership with the Department of Health. The advocacy-event is actually a month-long set of localized activities to educated and engage the youth to participate in the said campaign. One of which is a TikTok Dance Challenge featuring the “No to Tobacco Hand Sign” also launched on WNTD.
They also managed to tap GMA actors and actresses such as Kyline Alcantara and Miguel Tanfelix to be their Smoke-Free Youth Influencers to set as a good example and encourage their fellow youth to stay smoke-free. The organization is targeting to get the support of 100,000 youth advocates in the country by the end of June.