World No Tobacco Day 2020

Author:Vishva Madhumal

28 Nov 2020


Category : Events

Objective - YAN Sri Lanka youth network organized a set of competitions subsequently to the World No Tobacco Day 2020 under this year’s theme of “Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use”, which comprised most creative Facebook post, most creative video, daily Q&A competition series’, facilitating a platform to enhance the creativity whilst making awareness the youth about tobacco prevention via a series of videos.

 

Introduction

Yan Sri Lanka as one of the most prominent and active youth networks in the country has organized an effective programme to commemorate the World No Tobacco Day which falls on 31st of May every year. Whilst following the conditions of the competition and providing opportunities to Sinhala, Tamil and English mediums,

  • Most Creative Facebook Post Competition (from 23 May 2020 to 5th June 2020)
  • Most Creative Video Competition (from 23rd May 2020 to 05th May 2020)
  • Daily Q&A competition series (from 24th May 2020 to 31st May 2020)

and

  • Public awareness video series (from 21st May 2020 to 1st June 2020)

were held.

 

The objective of the network was to protect the minor and youth community from tobacco industry manipulations and provide advices for a healthy lifestyle ahead. It is crystal clear for you and me that tobacco industry attempts to create an attractive impression on tobacco products among the minor and youth community with the comprehensive use of social media. Nearly 55 Sri Lankans succumb to an early death on a daily basis due to smoking, and nearly 20,000 deaths are recorded annually in Sri Lanka due to smoking. Hence the tobacco industry targets the minors and the youth to compensate the customer base loss due to deaths. According to reports of researches carried out by the World Health Organization the use of tobacco within the youth is experiencing a decrement, and subsequently to the enhancement of the understanding of the youth it is a positive sign to witness the youth avoiding the artful marketing by the tobacco industry. It was identified the need of a program as such to maintain these positive levels and further enhancing the awareness within the minor and youth community.

 

Methodology

 

As mentioned above, submission for the competitions were accepted and winners were chosen by a panel of judges at 9pm on the 8th of June. Accordingly, cash prized were gifted as Rs. 30,000 for the first place, Rs. 20,000 for the second place, Rs. 10,000 for the 3rd place and Rs. 5,000 each from 4th to 10th places. The daily Q&A was held on the mentioned dates above where the question was posted at 7.30am on the Facebook page and answers were accepted until 8pm, and 20 people who gave the correct answer were gifted with reloads worth Rs.300 each. Furthermore, making of social awareness via a series of videos were carried out with the participation of 25 veterans representing different fields. By breaking the corona pandemic obstacles and using internet in order to reach out to veterans from various fields, these videos discussed the tricks used by the tobacco industry to hunt the youth, and how to prevent and avoid such instances.

 

Since the majority spent more time on social media during this difficult period we too were able to claim the best out of it by organizing these competitions and concluding on a successive note.

 

Outcomes

Among the above competitions, there were 189 submissions for the most creative Facebook post, 46 submissions for the most creative video, and 46 chosen posts and 10 chosen videos with the best quality were posted on the Facebook page. During these competitions, out of 262342 social media users between ages 16-28, 22082 direct engagements and 96240 occasional weekly engagements were recorded. With greatest pleasure I hereby state that the overall engagements of knowledge sharing and empowerment of tobacco prevention exceeded 250,000.

 

Furthermore, the immense appreciation received for 30 of the videos created for awareness proves the success of this initiative. It should be highlighted that since our videos were featured in both Sinhalese, Tamil and English mediums, our message was reached among all communities.

 

-Laksharee Gunawardene-


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