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Health ministry unleashes campaign to curb youth tobacco abuse

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Contact: Adhara King


Monday 31 January 2011  As the international community steps up its vigilance to curb tobacco consumption, local efforts targeted at the youth are underway.


The Ministry of Health, Wellness, National Mobilzation, Human Services, and Gender Relations through the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat and in partnership with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be administering the third round of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey in Saint Lucia.


“Essentially it is a survey that looks to examine the concepts behind awareness and education effects among children in the age range of 13 to 15. So we are looking at applying the survey at all schools from form 1 to form to form 4,” Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat Programme Coordinator is Mr. Robert Huggins said.

“Using that data we can compare and look back at our efforts in the past and see whether or not they have been effective and to also understand the present state of mind of youth as it pertains to issues of tobacco control.”


Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat Programme Coordinator is Mr. Robert Huggins.


The council is receiving tremendous support from the Ministry of Education in facilitating this exercise. The Ministry, Huggins says, has been and remains a valuable ally in the substance abuse battle.


“The data will be streamlined to develop stronger prevention and educational programmes to better understand how in fact the youth are  able to come into contact with the product, how they are introduced to it, what are their attitudes and the attitudes of people around them—all of these factors.

“So we can use the data to great lengths in order to strengthen our processes. It’s also very timely, because we are working at legislation related to tobacco issues. We are also trying to meet the demands of the framework of the Convention on Tobacco Control that we have signed on to,” Huggins said.



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