Much as there is little or no funding at all for this,public awareness campaigns act as a preventive measure when it comes to tobacco control. Scientific evidence clearly demonstrates public awareness campaigns significantly reduce the number of young people who start smoking. Youth in Africa generally begin to experiment with tobacco around the age of 11 upwards. However,in Africa there is very little effort to inform young people of the dangers of smoking,and Big Tobacco is capitalizing on this,with increased advertising which is now digital .The 2012 Report of the Surgeon General, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, concluded specifically and unequivocally: mass media campaigns “prevent the initiation of tobacco use and reduce its prevalence among youth.
Public awareness campaigns are a vital component in our fight against tobacco,and to win this war we must not overlook it.If the people are informed,it becomes even easier for them to support pressure on lawmakers to pass laws protecting them against tobacco.
Tobacco Control organizations in Africa must remember to conduct public awareness campaigns targeting the youth in schools,on social media & print. Our organization is currently holding extensive discussions with government officials to conduct nationwide awareness campaigns in schools in Kenya,Tanzania and Uganda. We will keep you posted as we progress