Instructing people about the effects of tobacco on the environment by adolescents in Tehran
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Iranian Anti Tobacco Association, Iran, Islamic Rep. Of
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A393
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Public attention has recently been drawn to the harmful effects of tobacco on the environment. Cigarette butts are toxic materials that pollute the nature and organisms, and leaving them in nature causes serious damage to the life cycle. The Clean Breath Center which is active in the area of tobacco prevention in children and adolescents has recently focused a part of its agenda on the theme of environmental effects of tobacco products.

Intervention or response:
According to the plan, the volunteer adolescents were encouraged to collect cigarette butts found in parks and various urban areas and to demonstrate the butts to the people and instructing them about harmful effects of cigarette butts on the environment. Distribution of informative pamphlets, including images of nature and injured animals, was another part of the program. The project was conducted in the last two years concurrent with various occasions, such as the Health Week, the National No-Tobacco Week, and the Clean Air Week.

Results and lessons learnt:
About hundred adolescents aged 10 to 16 participated in the project and, as a part of it, collected a large amount of cigarette butts from the urban areas. About 98 percent of the people interviewed did not know about the effects of tobacco use on the environment. In addition, the adolescents' peers became familiar with the destructive effects of smoking through them.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
The involvement of adolescents in tobacco control programs and encouraging them to lead such activities can play an important role in the enhancement of community health. Unfortunately, the government´s cooperation in this regard and the current public training and information dissemination are not satisfactory. Also, the government can impose fines for contaminating the environment by smokers and the companionship of the youngsters and their concern for the future generations can be useful in reducing the harmful effects of tobacco.