Back to Conference page
The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
In Sri Lanka tobacco promotions are applied informally, capturing youth/children. A holistic approach to inform, educate and communicate with the identified target groups have to be employed.
Writing articles on varied subjects incorporating anti tobacco message discreetly to suit maximum number of readers' interests. Use different writing formats.
Pose questions to sound natural, raising tobacco as a common problem.
Interview anti-tobacco cinema/TV celebrities giving them opportunity to deglamourize. Do features to coincide international/national events, discourage smoking discreetly.
Use tobacco deglamourizing pictures. Readers pay more attention on articles, news items/ letters with indirect messages. Use Letters to the Editor column as a public forum for voicing anti-tobacco messages.
Used trendsetters to expose youth capturing industry strategies.
Could remove a pro-tobacco hoarding in front of a shopping complex soon after revealing truth.
Received positive comments from public through media.
Industry officials contacted me for discussion, I resisted.
Majority of media in Sri Lanka give prominence to views sympathetic to tobacco industry and highlighting their social responsibility to public. They do so for personal gains.
Consider stories countering medical orthodoxy as more “newsworthy” than those simply reinforce established truths.
Tobacco industry coordinates media stories to reinforce its own perspective by generating controversy and confusion in people.
Pro-smoking articles appearing in media in countries lacking strong health education capacity can seriously hinder tobacco control efforts.
We need to strengthen tobacco control activities through media. Messages of prevention to a greater audience than groups/ individuals engaged in educational programmes are vital.