WHO launches smoke-free celebrity campaign targeting youth

Updated 2017-06-02 15:28:06 CGTN
Young Chinese celebrities, including actor Wang Jia, actress Guan Xiaotong, and pop star Yiyang Qianxi, were invited to encourage young people in China to keep away from smoking. (Photo/CGTN))

Young Chinese celebrities, including actor Wang Jia, actress Guan Xiaotong, and pop star Yiyang Qianxi, were invited to encourage young people in China to keep away from smoking. (Photo/CGTN))

World No Tobacco Day, which took place on May 31 this year, was themed "Tobacco – a threat to development."

The Chinese arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a "smoke-free next generation" media campaign on June 1, inviting Chinese celebrities to encourage youngsters not to smoke. Four young Chinese celebrities, actor Wang Jia, actress Guan Xiaotong, Yiyang Qianxi of the music group TFBoys, and visual artist Chen Man, were invited to join the campaign.

"Tobacco is a threat to any person. It brings suffering, disease, death, and impoverishes families. I had never thought about smoking before, and after the event I am more determined not to smoke," Yiyang Qianxi, member of the TFBoys, said.

"Smoking is harmful not only for the smokers, but also for nonsmokers through passive smoking," Guan Xiaotong added.

Tobacco control is a global health issue, and reminding young people of the danger of smoking plays an important role in curbing the tobacco epidemic.

According to WHO, up to 10 billion cigarettes per day are smoked, and more than seven million deaths are linked to tobacco use every year. WHO predicts that the number of deaths caused by tobacco might grow to more than eight million a year by 2030, intensive action is not taken.

In fact, more than half of adult men are smokers in China, two-thirds of whom started smoking as young adults.

"There is absolute nothing cool or fashionable about developing lung cancer, oral cancer and yellow teeth. In other words, there's nothing cool about smoking, But, there is something empowering about choosing to live a healthy, smoke-free life," said Dr. Bernhard Schwartländer, the WHO representative in China.

Dr. Bernhard Schwartländer and his wife.

obacco endangers the lives of millions of people around the world. It threatens our future and the development of economies and the environment. Tobacco harms our health and destroys our efforts to build a healthier, more prosperous and peaceful world.

Please say no to tobacco.

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