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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Bike for Life: Rallying the Youth against Smoking

Gamaliel James V. Auste, MA and Gerardo N. Trillana. Cancer Warriors Foundation Inc., 2550 Roxas Blvd. Patio Madrigal Cmpd, Pasay, Philippines

Objective: At the conclusion of the session the participants will be able to develop a sports-based multi-media information campaign on tobacco-control for the youth.

Methods: Bike for Life is a fund- raising campaign for children with cancer. Its centerpiece advocacy is to encourage young people to get involved in sports instead of taking on smoking.

The campaign was launch in a high profile event where cancer survivor, James Auste took on a bike tour across the Philippines. Local sports celebrities and volunteer bikers joined in different parts of the journey.

Extensive nationwide multi-media (radio, tv, print, local cable) coverage was generated before, during and after the journey. Coverage included information dissemination to young people on bad effects of cigarette, not to start smoking, to take on sports and practice healthy lifestyle. Symposiums and forums were organized in different universities, churches and communities along the bike route.

Results: Bike for Life covered a total of 2,800 kilometers and 28 towns across the Philippines. It raised 1.5 million pesos funds. More than 5,000 volunteer bikers joined, a number of them organized their own local campaigns.

The symposiums alone were attended by 18,000 people while thousands were reached by daily multi-media coverage for more than 3 months. Bike for Life spawned other sport-based advocacy programs. Sports for Life where major basketball teams played on benefit games and players speak out as anti- smoking advocates. Team Cancer Warriors, a pool of young athletes who join adventure events and extreme sports carrying the Foundation's flag.

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