WESWA 2012 Campaign to prevent Juvenile Tobacco Use

Juvenile tobacco abuse in India
Juvenile tobacco abuse is rampant in India.
2006 tobacco use among youth in India
India No Tobacco Day 2011
"Each year tobacco use kills about one million Indians. Bidi and cigarette smokers die 6 to 10 years earlier than their non-smoking counterparts."
- Drs. Jha P, Jacob B, Gajalakshmi V, & Gupta P,
The New England Journal of Medicine. 2008;358;1-11

Over a quarter of all youth in India are addicted to tobacco. This project, which aims to prevent the physical and psychological injuries caused by tobacco smoking and chewing, will be undertaken among 500 rural youth plus 500 students in Pudukkottai District of Tamil Nadu. Awareness campaign actions to prevent tobacco use by youths of rural Tamil Nadu will include leadership training, awareness seminars, cultural events, handbills & posters that promote a tobacco free future for Indian youths.

What is the problem?

India has been warned it faces a smoking-related health crisis. Nearly one in five school children in India use some form of tobacco, according to a survey conducted by the World Health Organisation. Nearly 17% of students aged under 16 use some form of tobacco, most of them cigarettes. And despite a countrywide ban, sale of tobacco and tobacco products to minors have shown no decline over the past three years. Govt reports find there is no difference in consumption levels among girls and boys.

What will this project do to solve the problem?

Our project will train local youth leaders to conduct awareness seminars for peer groups. Cultural events will be conducted in the main population centers of our target area of Viralimalai. Printed campaign materials will be printed and distributed at schools and other youth venues. Yoga, meditation, naturopathy, etc. will be promoted as alternatives to tobacco use for the target groups: school children and rural youths.

Long-Term Impact

Our project targets 500 rural youths and 500 school students, who may be spared from the health menace of oral cancer, throat cancer and lung cancer, hypertension, and other long-term health problems. Our project aims to create a Tobacco Free Younger Society and save the lives of uncounted young people.

Our Appeal

"We appeal to you who live in ease and health to sacrifice just a tiny portion of your bounty and good fortune for the sake of less fortunate families and their children."

-Rajesh Kanna, WESWA Executive Director