February 11th, 2014
The Ministry of Health Tobacco Control Unit, Health Promotion Division, and the Hygiene and Health Promotion Department, held a workshop for the youth from 8 Vientiane Capital schools, namely, Vientiane, Xinxay Viengsavanh, Phiavat, Thatkhao, Thongpong, Nongbone and Salakham Schools. There were 77 participants, including teachers and presenters attending the workshop. Chairing it was Dr. Amphoy Sihavong, Deputy Director of Department of Health, Vientiane Capital.
The purpose of this workshop is to de-normalize tobacco use among students, and to establish a network to communicate with them regularly by sharing updates and knowledge on tobacco control. These students will be become the anti-smoking leaders in their own school and will help promote tobacco control with other students through their school activities, tobacco control activities and social media platforms (Facebook). They are also tasked to implement 100% smoke-free areas in their schools and initiate cross sharing with other schools in the future.
Some of the presentations were on: Updates of the Laos Tobacco Control situation, Tobacco use health impacts and social media network – focusing on the Anti Smoking Youth Page. Students were then grouped by schools to discuss ideas on possible activities that they can contribute to TC in schools in the cities and provinces.
The Tobacco Control Fund was approved by the Prime Minister of Laos last May 21st, 2013. Funds collected can be utilized by the 2nd quarter of 2014. The funds will prioritize supporting this youth group, as it will be one of the most important networks to promote non-smoking habits among the youth and public.
By V. Konsengphengphet, SITT-Laos