Tobacco control media campaigns can change individual behaviour surrounding tobacco use and persuade societies to implement tobacco-free policies. These campaigns can be cost-effective and targeted to a specific demographic, for example youths. The following is a snapshot of youth focused tobacco control campaigns in the Caribbean
Antigua & Barbuda Tobacco Free Initiative – ABTFI 2016
In order to advocate for anti-tobacco initiatives, the ABTFI created a social media campaign with anti-tobacco commercials and silent videos depicting the dangers of smoking. Other initiative included poetry competitions for primary school students, a cake sale, and a sensitization trip to the sister island of Barbuda.
There was also a “Who is Next” initiative which targeted the business community, a Stakeholders’ Assistance Program, a health walk and a Grand Anti-Tobacco March on World No-Tobacco Day, May 31st .
Bahamas “Say No to Bidis” May 2019
In 2019, a “Say No to Bidis” campaign was created to target school-aged children. Bidis are small, thin, hand-rolled cigarettes, which are cheaper than but deliver more carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar than conventional cigarettes. Bidis are usually made with tobacco flavours such as vanilla and chocolate and this poses an additional issue since these flavours appeal to kids.
Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society “Take A Breath” Campaign
The Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society partnered with Scotiabank Foundation to launch the “Take a Breath” campaign in 2020 to bring awareness to youths about the dangers associated with vaping and smoking. Striking graphics and videos were circulated on social media with the hashtags #DONTVAPE and #CONSIDERTHECONSEQUENCES.
Youths between the ages of 12 and 18 were encouraged to participate in the “Anti-Smoking/Vaping Video Competition” and submit videos about the health effects of vaping and smoking
Vape or Smoke? Commit to Quit: Your Body Will Thank You for It
The Jamaica National Council on Drug Abuse partnered with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to create several initiatives for World No Tobacco Day 2021. These included a smoking-prevention game-based competition and a national poster competition. These initiatives aimed to build awareness of the dangers of vaping and teach refusal skills among primary and secondary school students.
Other initiatives included training for primary care providers on how to provide brief tobacco interventions and the Ministry of Health and Wellness is also seeking to make smoking cessation aids available.
Information correct as at December 2021