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Younger people picking up smoking more than ever – Dr Ambrose

Younger people picking up smoking more than ever – Dr Ambrose

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While many older persons have given up on smoking, some of the younger generation seem to be picking up the unhealthy habit.{{more}}

This is the view of president of the SVG Medical Association Dr Rosalind Ambrose.

In commemoration of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the association has launched several initiatives throughout the month of May, in an effort to raise awareness of how smoking can affect one’s health.

“In many countries, while older people are giving up smoking, the younger people are picking it up,” Ambrose told SEARCHLIGHT.

“So, some, where there the message is…not getting through. So, we’ve chosen to continue our campaign on an annual basis to just raise awareness.”

The SVG Medical Association, who won awards from the World Health Organization for their outstanding contribution to tobacco control in 2005, has embarked on creating a public service announcement in 2014.

This public service announcement is expected to feature a number of representatives from various schools, organizations and businesses in St Vincent and the Grenadines, as they highlight the many dangers that are attached to smoking.

Also, informative articles that feature how smoking can affect regular bodily functions are being published weekly in the SEARCHLIGHT newspaper. Additionally, a billboard is expected to be mounted at a strategic point in Kingstown to send a similar message across to citizens.

“Smoking continues to be a problem in St Vincent, as it is in so many other countries,” the association president said.

“There are significant issues that either people aren’t aware of them, or they don’t take them seriously enough and our aim is to reach those people who seem to think it’s a very casual thing. Nowadays, while life expectancy is going up, the risk that people are exposed to is so much greater and they should realize that because now there are more cancer forming agents in the manufactured cigarettes than there were some years ago. The risk is actually greater.”

Ambrose also indicated that there will be a round table discussion held on May 22 at the Methodist Church Hall, and it will be open to the public at no cost.

The event, which will begin at 7 p.m., is expected to feature a panel of professionals giving their perspective on smoking, not just tobacco, but other smoking products, including marijuana. The public service announcement will also be shown during this event.

“We hope to generate a national conversation about that. The public service video clips that we have, we hope to run them at the event. It is our intention to ask other media houses, IKTV, SVGTV and so on to run them. We hope that they will accept it as a public service announcement, so that they can get the message across. We’re hoping that we can make another resounding impact on the whole issue of no smoking,” she said.

The SVG Medical Association has a membership of over 100 medical professionals. Besides their annual No Smoking campaigns in May, they are also responsible for a variety of activities in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.(BK)

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