“Do you know that teens who smoke break out more, their zits last longer, their teeth rot and they also produce more phlegm? Girls who smoke are also more likely to have excessive facial hair growth,” said 14-year-old Sasha Bhatnagar.
“This is what the youth need to hear. Not about long-term consequences of smoking like cancer,” she said.
The Class 9 student of Delhi Public School was one of the 140 youth from 27 countries who came together in a Mumbai hotel for the Global Youth Meet on Tobacco Control on Friday. The young delegates discussed the status of smoke-free policies in their countries and deliberated over ways in which they can promote smoke-free environments. Many came up with initiatives which they will implement in three years.
The meet was organised by Salaam Bombay Foundation and HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth) to make youth a part of the movement against smoking.
The Indian delegates, mostly students from Delhi and Mumbai, decided to mark the World No Tobacco Day on March 31 just the way students in the US observe the ‘Kick Butts Day’.
The networking opportunity helped Chinese delegate Liang Ou (21) find ways in which she could make Chinese hospitals and public places smoke-free.
“I have decided to call businesses in Beijing which have banned smoking and offer to make maps of smoke-free restaurants, shops, libraries for them,” said the pharmacy student, who works with other members of the student’s union in her university to promote the ban on smoking.