World No-Tobacco Day 2023: “Tobacco is Dangerous to the Health”- Sandra Ndang, Advocacy Officer ACA

By Ikome Christie-Noella Eposi

The Advocacy Officer for the African Center for Advocacy (ACA), Sandra Ndang has noted that tobacco is dangerous and detrimental to one’s health. She was speaking to some 160 youths of the Baptist Comprehensive High School Nkwen, Bamenda this Friday May 26 2023.

In commemoration of the World No-Tobacco day which is celebrated on May 31st under the theme “We need food, not tobacco”, the ACA Advocacy officer and her team told the boys and girls of B.C.H.S Nkwen to shun away from tobacco as it leads to diseases such as cancer, lung disease, stroke, heart diseases, diabetes, chronic bronchitis amongst others.

Advocacy Officer for ACA Sandra Ndang educating students on the dangers of Tobacco

According to Sandra Ndang, one of the messages ACA is passing across is the fact that tobacco is dangerous for the health and it doesn’t only destroy the lungs or kills but it also kills those who live around us. “We are fighting against the intake of tobacco because we know that if we are saving one man, we will definitely be saving 5 people or more”.

She added that ACA takes it as a pride of place to advocate for good health and one thing they have noticed that destroys the health is tobacco. “That is why we commemorated this day especially in the North West region because the students there have been out of school for a very long time and an idle mind they say is the devils workshop. So we carried out this sensitization exercise to remind the students and educate them on the dangers of tobacco and why they should not take it”. Sandra Ndang averred.

Students of B.C.H.S Nkwen join ACA team to denounce the smoking of Tobacco

The health personnel Chia John invited to talk to the students mentioned that asides from the diseases cited above, tuberculosis is also one of the diseases gotten as a result of smoking tobacco. He further explained the dangers of smoking to the people around who are considered as second-hand smokers. An action he added which leads to thousands of adult and infant deaths.

He, alongside other ACA volunteers advised that smokers who want to quit should seek medical attention or therapy for follow-up as well as other tips which can keep them busy and distracted. Nurse Chia John strongly advised that the students stay away from smoking, eat healthy foods and fruits in order to preserve their health.

Advocacy Officer for ACA, other team members and volunteers after successful celebration of World No-Tobacco Day 2023

“We were at B.C.H.S Nkwen to encourage the students that despite the peer pressure they face and everything that is going on around them, they should be sane enough to know that they have to protect their health and one way of doing so is to avoid the intake of tobacco/marijuana as it is detrimental to them. This is just a baby step for ACA. Our target is the young population since they are highly exposed to such hazards. We want to instill in them that knowledge that tobacco is not a good thing so that they will grow up and have that in mind. In future we aim to visit more schools and talk to the children about the dangers of smoking”. ACA’s Advocacy officer continued.

Quizzed on why ACA chose that particular audience, Sandra Ndang explained “We chose these students because they will soon be going to the university which is definitely a free world with less or no control. So we believe that if we start telling them about the dangers of smoking now that they are still at the secondary and high schools, they already know that if they get to the university and find bad friends who smoke, the best thing for them to do is to stay away since they must have already had basic knowledge on the dangers of smoking”. She concluded.

Writing materials and stickers caring ‘No-Tobacco’ messages were distributed to the students after the sensitization exercise. The students expressed satisfaction and thanked the African Center for Advocacy for bringing such a laudable initiative to them. They promised to shun away from tobacco and live a healthy life.


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