Youth conference calls for zero tolerance of tobacco marketing targeting young people
Youth conference delegates called on ministries of health and tobacco control experts to declare zero tolerance for tobacco industry marketing targeting young people, during the Inaugural Ceremony of the 16thWorld Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) being held in Abu Dhabi on 17-21 March 2015.
The two-day youth conference, organised as part of WCTOH, is designed to help crystallise the vision of young public health professionals and students for a tobacco-free future, building both the knowledge and skills that will be vital to achieve their ambitious goal. Medical students, writers, educators and those working for NGOs are amongst the 74 delegates from 40 countries, sponsored to attend. They will also have access to all sessions at WCTOH.
HRH Princess Dina Mired of Jordan chaired the opening session, a panel discussion on why young people are still targeted by the tobacco industry. She then launched the official Facebook page of NMT 21C, a global movement galvanising young people to advocate for policy change to create a tobacco free future.
E-cigarettes, tobacco industry tactics and high-impact communications campaigns featured in the youth conference morning plenary sessions, led by tobacco control experts. Delegates then applied their new knowledge to their own cultures and contexts through in-depth workshops and discussion groups.
During the first round of workshops, delegates shared their experiences and obstacles faced -- from tobacco industry-sponsored university places in Africa, to party girls handing out free cigarettes in Western Pacific countries, and aggressive marketing campaigns targeting youth world over. They were then challenged to consider proactive approaches to overcoming to these issues.