mercredi 8 avril 2015

Elvis Ndikum: For their health, for their kids, for their families and for our environment, the young people should quit smoking

You are one of Cameroonian who took part in the Youth Conference The 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health. How do you feel after this experience?
The 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health from 17-21 March 2015 in Abu Dhabi had 74 delegates for the Pre-Youth Conference coming from 40 countries. I am honored to have been selected amongst the two Cameroonians that represented Cameroon for the youth Conference. I feel motivated but accountable and more enlightened on what we as youths in Cameroon need to do so far as tobacco control is concerned.Tobacco control amongst youths in Cameroon is not visible or active. I have a feeling of responsibility while still in Abu Dhabi that I will be implementing and sharing my experiences gained to Cameroonian youths and use all strategies as much as possibleto eradicate tobacco amongst youths and the Cameroonian population.

What do you think of the initiative "c"?
NMT 21st Century is an initiative already implemented in India given that they are one of the leading countries fighting tobacco today in the world. This vision is targeting youths in particular given that more than 1 billion people consume tobacco, more than 6 million people die every year from tobacco and its products. This vision which aims at attracting youth leaders, as advocates for tobacco control towards a no more tobacco generation. The tobacco industry is targeting youths today for their numbers and ignorance about the burden tobacco imposes on humanity through non communicable diseases (NCD’s). The “No More Tobacco in 21st Century” simple wants a world withouttobacco; let all countries have laws to band tobacco in all public places such as offices, schools, restaurants and what have you. The world wants tobacco free roads, homes, restaurants, schools bars, stores etc. As global effort to free the world of tobacco smoking, the World health Organization has declared 31st May as World No Tobacco Day. NMT 21st Century will be targeting and motivating individuals, groups, companies to create and enjoy 100% smoke-free environments. People should understand the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke; this is the smoke that fills restaurants, offices or other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, medwakhs and water pipes. Everyone is exposed to its harmful effects. There is “no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke”. Creating 100% smoke-free environment is the only way to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. Finally NMT 21st Century will be every single individuals fight, what can I do to make a place smoke free?  Think of one place you use regularly and make it smoke free. Why should I quit smoking? For my health, for my kids, for my family and for my environment. Helping smokers with tips for quitting smoking and the dangers for indulging into smoking for those who have not yet started.

How do you make young people aware for a generation without tobacco in Cameroon?
Implementing NMT in 21st Century for me is a global vision which targets youths and needs all youths to be involved. As a leader and young advocate working with youth organizations, I am going to adapt tobacco control for youths in Cameroon with social and cultural trends. Using social media like Facebook, twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, group messaging will be the best means with digital strategies and graphic designs on tobacco control. Also running direct workshops with student health clubs, training them on tobacco control. Creating NMT 21st Century Clubs in secondary schools. Running NMT 21st Century campaigns with civil society youth led organizations. Organizing a National NMT in 21st Century conference inviting them on a workshop to work on aligned means of implementing the NMT in 21st Century before the next conference on Tobacco or health. Organize a conference and walk on the World No Tobacco Day on the 31st of May 2015. Finally run the Global Youth Tobacco Survey in Cameroon before the next World Conference on Tobacco or Health in 2018.

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