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Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat to Highlight Health Risks of Second Hand Smoke

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005 –The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will provide funding for the next public awareness campaign on the agenda of the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat.

Officer in Charge of the Secretariat Ms. Elizabeth Wilson says soon the general public will learn more about the health risks of second hand or passive tobacco smoke. She says business houses will be sensitized to adopt or enforce smoke free policies in the workplace.

When the campaign gets underway, various strategies will be employed to convey the message that second hand cigarette smoke is a dangerous substance.

” The target group is everybody because we would like to raise awareness among the smokers that , second hand smoke still causes a lot of harm. Also we want to reach the people who don’t smoke but have right to a smoke free environment. We believe need to speak up for that right and they need to be aware of the dangers posed by the environmental tobacco smoke.”

The St .Lucia Cancer Society and the Saint Lucia Bureau of Health Education, have already given their commitment to be critical partners in that effort. The Secretariat will depend on the print and electronic media to support the initiative.

“Part of the campaign it is getting information out there, getting leaflets, brochures, etc. So we’ve started compiling the information and getting quotations from different companies to try to get that printed. We’ll try to do some TV appearances and radio interviews.”

The programme will run over a period of 6 to 8 weeks. In St. Lucia public smoking is not permitted in government institutions, schools and health care based environments.

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