Empowering librarians on effective tobacco demand reduction through public libraries in Sri Lanka
 
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Alcohol and Drug Information Center (ADIC), Library & Information Programme, Sri Lanka
Publish date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A12
KEYWORDS:
WCTOH
 
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ABSTRACT:
Background and challenges to implementation:
Since 2010 Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) has been maintaining a library network and it has been identified as one of the most effective and appropriate path to disseminate effective and evidence based information. Sri Lanka holds more than 1000 libraries under its local government authorities. In 2014 ADIC empower librarians to make community pressure on discouraging Tobacco usage.

Intervention or response:
The first attempt was to ensure the availability of information on Tobacco prevention. ADIC organized trainings for librarians regarding effective methods of Tobacco and other drug prevention. As a result, librarians organized exhibitions, awareness programs in their respective villages. Further, in 2014 ADIC developed a module for librarians on making community pressure against cigarette sales. The community was encouraged to participate in town campaigns regarding tobacco prevention organized by the librarians using human and financial assets of their local government authorities. Librarians have taken steps to acknowledge shop-owners who took active participation on this, display prevention messages and also made the general public aware through announcements around the villages.

Results and lessons learnt:
Librarians have step forward from their general responsibilities to discourage and reduce Tobacco usage and cigarette sales in respective areas. From 2014 to 2017, librarians have conducted 60 town campaigns in their villages and 160 shops have stopped selling cigarettes during Wesak & Poson weeks in Sri Lanka.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Community driven initiations are successful in addressing an issue in the grass-root level. Achievement of the objective was mostly based on the active and innovative participation of librarians and community members. Therefore, empowering librarians and developing libraries is an effective way of reduce the Tobacco demand and consumption in communities.

eISSN:1617-9625