World No Tobacco Day was promoted in a few ACF locations apprise beneficiaries of the ill affects of using Tobacco. For decades the tobacco industry has deliberately employed strategic, aggressive and calculated approaches to attract a new generation of tobacco users, using attractive product designs & marketing campaigns.
The health team in Darlaghat had initiated a tobacco control program with Salaam Mumbai Foundation in 2015 to focus upon creating a tobacco free workplace and surrounding communities by awareness sessions, individual counselling of tobacco users and behavior modification.
During lockdown 5.0, the relevant IEC messages on tobacco consumption and its adverse effects on human health were broadcasted among 30 health volunteers of the community health program. ACF's health volunteers have addressed this initiative through telephonic conversation and online video messages. They shared audio and video messages among 1150 individuals in 52 whatsapp groups..
Health volunteers conducted home visits in 30 project villages and reached more than 1100 households. They have followed social distancing norms, ensured the use of masks and sanitized theirs and participants hands. The Sakhis of project villages involved 42 APEKSHA and 70 Swacchata Doots for a drawing painting competition at village level with submissions made on whatsapp. One on One sessions were also conducted with home quarantine individuals who have recently returned from containment zones or the city.
In Bathinda, 135 students participated in an Essay Competition and 100 Children participated in poster competition in eight government schools where the APE program is implemented. Whatsapp messages were also sent to all whatsapp groups covering approx 80,0000 persons.
What is the relation between Tobacco and the Pandemic ?
- COVID19 is known for affecting those with weaker lunges
- It has been found that smokers are more likely to get attracted to the virus compared to non-smokers and are at high risk of developing severe diseases and deaths
- Smoking impairs lung functioning making it harder for the body to fight the virus
- A young generation is getting hooked to nicotine
- Educating the youth on the ill effects of tobacco is a need