Increase the media contribution to reduce tobacco promotion in Tamil media
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Alcohol and Drug Information Center, Tamil Media and Plantation Programme, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A724
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) found that Tamil media (TV, radio and websites) highly influence on attitudes and behavior on tobacco consumption. ADIC implemented a programme with media to address this issue. The main challenge was Tobacco Company also maintains PRA with the media persons to promote their product.

Intervention or response:
In 2015 directly approached and make aware 455 print media and electronic media persons by 65 training programmes. Lead them to influence the community and pressure through opinion leaders and other celebrities. 300 personal discussions used carried twice a month updating them current situation as the follow-ups. Media module made by ADIC distributed among them. Develop action groups in selected communities to pressure on media when they promote alcohol and tobacco. Formed 15 opinion leaders to criticize promotions and hold discussions and update media behaviors on the spot.

Results and lessons learnt:
By 90% increases the media person knowledge on tobacco promotion. 80 electronic media directly contributed for tobacco prevention activities. 25 media persons counter attacked tobacco promotions in films and it made a changed in the film "Maari". 120 prevention articles were published in news papers. 120 prevention programmes conducted by media persons. Tobacco Promotions in print media were reduced by 12% (2015) to 5% (2016).Meanwhile Prevention activities were increased in print media.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
If develop the resource persons within the media, it is the best tools to change vast community. Same time different approaches we have to use to change media persons. Because media persons have good connection with tobacco industry as well. As Tobacco Company also try to approach media persons.