Voices of Youth: Use inspirational anti-smoking messaging to target students

Current tobacco control policies, tobacco prevention talks and events held in schools are commendable, but there are ways for us to improve further (Have holistic way of teaching students about harmful effects of smoking, Jan 11).

Setting a minimum legal age to buy tobacco undermines education efforts as it sends out the wrong message: Smoking is acceptable for adults.

To overcome this issue, we must implement inspiring messaging.

Tobacco Free Generation (TFG), a social movement in Singapore, has been using a novel approach to inspirational education. It focuses on this key message: The young people are a special generation who can put an end to tobacco.

Who does not want to be special? To spread this message, TFG collaborates with young people to produce inspirational videos to empower one to not pick up smoking.

On top of this, TFG has been working with schools for the past five years to train youth advocates.

These advocates then spread the inspirational message to their peers. In this manner, more young people are better educated to not start smoking, allowing them to effectively protect future generations.

The Government's support in making anti-smoking education inspirational would definitely allow Singapore to take a bigger step towards a tobacco-free society.

Darrell Soh, 17

Pre-university student