Onco Life Center Media Article 10
Group Launches ‘Say NO to Smoke’ challenge nationwide
KAULA LUMPUR-Empowered-The Cancer Advocacy Society of Malaysia, will organize a Smoke-Free Week in conjunction with the World Cancer Month in November.
Founder and president of the non-profit organization Dr Christina Ng said the plan is to educate the public on smoking and lung cancer.
She said, the event was to reach out to smokers nationwide to take up the challenge to stop smoking for a week.
To commemorate the challenge, empowered will launch a “Say NO to smoke, Say YES to Life” themed event on today at the Dataran Perumahan Awam Seri Perak, Bandar Baru Sentul.
“Right now our target is the urban poor and under resourced communities as these are usually caught up with their own lifestyle to survive”, said Dr Ng, who took six months to execute the upcoming event in central.
“These communities are the ones who need more exposure to the disease and we hope to be able to bridge that gap in a small way by doing something meaningful.”
Dr Ng said the carnival-themed awareness event includes an art competitor children aged between five to 12 years old, photography contests for teens aged between 13 to 17 years old, booths that provide educational material on lung cancer and smoking, as well as counselling groups who can help those who wish to quit the habit.
She said the 200 volunteers, who include medical specialists; paramedics and medical students will be providing consultants at the event.
She said the event is jointly organized by Empowered, the National Council of Welfare and Social Development Malaysia (Makpem), Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Residents Association of Perumahan Awam Sri Perak.
“I believe the awareness of lung cancer has to be taken from the community perspective rather than approaching it from a medical angle,” she said.
Dr Ng said the smoke-free campaign is being broadcasted in various platforms-online, offline, through events, article, videography and viral video campaign.
“We have recently launched an online viral video on social media platform at no cost for a very good cause,” she said.
She said similar to the ‘ASL ice bucket challenge’, that had gone viral worldwide, the advocacy society has launched the viral video which requires participants to blow a balloon as large as possible to reflect a healthy lung.
“We hope this challenge will gather people from all walks of life to take part in the campaign,” she said.
“Having a smoke free community requires a lot of collaborative effort and it needs enforcement at a governmental level.”
Dr Ng said policy makers must work with advocacy groups to be able to implement the significant policies in public areas.
“The effort is possible, but it requires persistence, awareness heightening, commitment and focus from all walks of life and not by advocacy groups alone,” she said.