Engaging new voices and key opinion leaders in support of smoke-free policies in China
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World Health Organization - China, China
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids(China Office), China
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A622
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Background and challenges to implementation:
One million people die a tobacco-related death every year in China, and this number will continue to grow if China does not act fast to rectify the problem. Rates of exposure to second-hand smoke are also extraordinarily high.
But the winds of change are blowing. Three major cities in China - its capital Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai have since passed 100% smoke-free laws which are being implemented very successfully.
The adoption of these comprehensive smoke-free laws was a genuine breakthrough for tobacco control in China. The laws set a new benchmark for smoke-free laws in other cities, and has generated a real sense of momentum for the adoption of a national smoke-free law.

Intervention or response:
Given the widespread use and influence of social media in China, one of the key strategies of the #RUFREE campaign is to engage with celebrities and key opinion leaders to give support to the smoke-free movement in China.

Results and lessons learnt:
Results from two recent campaigns launched in 2017 - the WHO Smoke-Free Next Generation campaign (involving three of China's biggest young stars and celebrity photographer) and the Open Letter by Mothers campaign by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids involving high profile Chinese celebrities and key opinion leaders were hugely successful and generated a tremendous amount of social media buzz. The Smoke-Free Next Generation campaign went viral (the campaign hashtag set a new record by going from zero to over 130 million reads within a matter of days). The open letter campaign from one celebrity mother's social media post reached over 100,000 reads alone.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Engaging fresh and new voices with massive social media following has proven to be successful in helping raise the public awareness and support for smoke-free policies in China.

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