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Cycle to create awareness

health-and-fitness Updated: May 26, 2010 12:58 IST
Sneha Mahale
Sneha Mahale
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Come Sunday, and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) will be the place to be. On the occasion of No Tobacco Day (May 31), Flying Hippo Entertainment, in association with the Maharashtra Cricket Association Club (MCA), will be organising a cyclothon and a treasure hunt at the venue. The idea behind these activities is to create awareness about the side effects of tobacco and the impact it has on the human body.

“We decided to keep the venue at BKC because it is a commercial area. Several surveys have supported the notion that people smoke more often in offices rather than at home when their parents, wives or children are around,” says Aditi Yadav, proprietor, Flying Hippo Entertainment and organiser of the event.

Fun galore
As part of the event, one will be able to participate in a cyclothon and a treasure hunt. “We decided to hold a cyclothon because people know what it is and are able to connect with it. The treasure hunt part was added so that children and adults alike can have some fun,” Yadav explains.

For the treasure hunt, participants will be divided into groups and will fan out the BKC area in search of clues that will be hidden at strategic points. At these clue points, participants will need to collect various chemicals that form a part of a cigarette butt.

To add some fun element, there will also be various activities at these points. “We could ask people to sing or hold a serious quiz with questions like what the legal age to start smoking is or which country has the highest number of smokers,” informs Yadav.

At the end the treasure hunt, the participants will be required to put together all the chemicals and form a cigarette cross to signify No Smoking and win prizes. Don’t worry if you are interested in participating in the cyclothon and do not have a cycle. The organisers are planning to rent out cycles. One can also be a part of some of the spot activities and quizzes.

Registrations for the event have begun and they already have about 20-25 confirmed participants. “We are also looking for a well-known person to endorse the event. We would prefer that person to be non-Bollywood, because we do not want someone to steal focus from the issue,” says Yadav.

Vital stats
Statistics compiled by the American Cancer Society and the World Lung Foundation for the third edition of their Tobacco Atlas found that 229 million in India use tobacco in some form.

Worldwide, around one billion men and 250 million women use tobacco every day.

About six million people will die from tobacco use in 2010, rising to seven million by the end of the next decade and eight million in 2030.

WHO statistics claim that about 69 per cent of men in Mumbai use tobacco, with 24 per cent smoking and the rest using
smokeless tobacco (betel quid with tobacco).

About 57 per cent of women in Mumbai use a form of smokeless tobacco, accounting for almost all tobacco use among women.