By: Marlon G. Jose RN, MAN
Tobacco Free Generation (TFG) is a social movement that seeks to re-balance the landscape of teenage smoking. Helmed by doctors, medical students, teachers and volunteers, they seek to connect with youths in schools to educate and encourage them to be part of tobacco free generation and not to fall prey to “being replacement smokers” of the tobacco industry, and promote prohibition of sale and use of tobacco to people born after the year 2000.
Since most smokers get started as teenagers and likely to continue through adulthood or sadly end up dying, it is essential to understand the causes of youth smoking and how effectively tackle these causes. In TFG, they encourage teens to be the generation that makes the difference, the generation that says NO to cigarettes and to look after themselves, their peers and family members. It somewhat a different approaches to advocate anti-smoking. As it teaches the next generation to understand how this smoke machine companies work in luring young vulnerable people to get hooked with their products just so they earn lots of money. It also explains to our adolescents how addicting nicotine is, and how the older smokers find it hard to quit until it slowly deteriorates their health. And so, TFG encourages the next generation to refrain from starting or trying to smoke, because chances are, they might not be able to stop.
TFG has been introduced to Balanga City in 2015, and has expanded and brought to new heights since then. From getting the Guinness World Record of Largest Dance Fitness Exercise last year, to organizing Ride for TFG this year. Just recently, developing leaders in Youth, specifically from Balanga and Singapore, were the target of week-long series of activities spearheaded by the Local Government of Balanga thru the effort of Councilor Jernie Jett Nisay, Committee Chair on Health and City Health Office headed by Dr. Mariano Antonio T. Banzon and other stakeholders like DepEd Balanga City, Multi Sectoral Governance Coalition, and various Biker’s Association in Bataan among others, TFG has embarked on increasing its campaign to other municipalities in Bataan.
Being a part of it, I am convinced that it is a must for today’s generation to have through understanding of the risks that come along with smoking, the constant changes on policies, taxes and educational campaigns. That youth should be able to decide for themselves, and even influence their peers, not to start smoking because they know that they can get addicted and soon destroy their health. Let us all help one another to ensure brighter future for the next generation. What an unforgettable experience! Kudos to the all organizers for a job well done. Keep it up and God Bless Us All.
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