Involving selected Sri Lankan military corps to reduce tobacco consumption within camps: An example for application of health promotion approach
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Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihintale, Sri Lanka
Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Soysa H. Dilukshi Nawodani   

Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihintale, Sri Lanka
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A198
Military corps have a high risk of tobacco consumption because they have a unique susceptible background and a behavioral pattern for tobacco consumption.

The main purpose of the study was to discourage tobacco consumption in the selected Sri Lankan military corps using health promotion applications.

Fifty officers and soldiers who represented different divisions in Sri Lanka participated to the health promotion training for 6 days covering 42 hours. A dream to build a healthy military was developed with the participants and reducing consumption and attraction towards tobacco were identified by them as the key areas which need to be changed. First two days of the training were used to improve their knowledge on real harm of tobacco, industry media strategies to promote consumption and availability of tobacco within camps. Successful evidence was used through photos, video clips. Health promotion facilitators facilitated military groups to identify determinants that affect high tobacco consumption. Then they were trained to change identified determinants within camps while facilitating them through role-plays, field visits at the community level. Action plans to implement within camps were developed together with the participants. Changes were monitored by study participants using observations and interviews.

After the training session, with the improved understanding on real harm of tobacco, industrial strategies and media influence for tobacco promotions, participants suggested to change the behavior of smoking at the parties inside the camp and reducing the attachment of glamor to smoking at parties. Reduced the number of cigarettes that sell in the camp and prevented the initiation of smoking once after joining with the military through empowering them using innovative activities.

Empowering military corps as a group is effective to control over the determinants which affect tobacco usage and giving them the ownership to carry out the process which discourages tobacco consumption.

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