The Tobacco Free Association of Zambia Youths in collaboration with the International Youth Tobacco Control of California United States of America – USA has embarked on a ‘Tobacco Free Generation’, an International social movement that re-balances the landscape of teenage smoking and vaping addiction and exchange advocacy program.
The Tobacco Free Association of Zambia Executive Director Brenda Chitindi mentioned in a statement issued to Lusaka Times that the Tobacco Free Generation International social movement started after the concept was published and recognized as an International Tobacco Control Endgame, thereafter an international education ecosystem was started.
Ms Chitindi added that since then, millions of youths from different countries want to be the better-educated Tobacco Free Generation that does not become replacement smokers to the tobacco industry.
“The movement needs to go beyond saying that smoking is bad and causes various diseases, it is in this regard that the youths of the Tobacco Free Association of Zambia, have joined the Global Tobacco Free Generation movement that needs to go beyond saying smoking or vaping is bad and causes various diseases, and also to be peers who will stand up in front of a group and advocate to thousands of children,” She explained
Ms Chitindi said that to accomplish this positive peer pressure, the Tobacco Free Association will work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education to develop youth leadership programs in Zambian schools, colleges and universities, the program will have an education system that targets the teenagers who tend to be vulnerable and eager to fit in with peers.
“In Zambia, we are engaging youths in innovative activities that will deter them from smoking tobacco that comes in various packages to attract them,” she said
She noted that on 12th November, 2022, the youths in Zambia joined together with the youths in California – USA to demonstrate a global solidarity against smoking and educate a global youth audience on the harms of tobacco.
Ms Chitindi said that the international educational event taught the youths about the harms of traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes, they also learned on how to combat peer pressure and how to help between different cultures.
She said that the creation of a new generation of addiction and exposure to various flavored cigarettes to attract the young generation should be condemned and make the producers accountable for any harms, as such is depriving them of their healthy future.
“The program will see youths taking a lead to sensitize and help the communities understand the effects of smoking and vaping tobacco products,” she said
Ms Chitindi mentioned that the program attracted more than 100 youths from both Zambia and California – USA who participated in the zoom meeting to highlight the challenges youths are subjected to with availability of flavoured tobacco products on the market.