World No Tobacco Day is held each year on the 31 May to highlight the dangers posed by the use of tobacco products.
To mark the occasion this year, Wan Smol Bag Theatre and Rainbow Theatre have worked to produce a song and video advertisement to support Ministry of Health in making the public aware of the dangers of tobacco use and it’s link to a higher risk of a severe case of COVID-19.
Wan Smolbag Director Jo Dorras noted the challenges in communicating the dangers of smoking to youth. "It is very hard for people to understand how dangerous smoking is, because young people do not notice anything happening to them" she said. "But we know that later in life most smokers will find themselves short of breath and have a much higher risk of heart problems leading to heart attacks, strokes and of course all types of cancer. Smokers often die young."
Wan Smol Bag’s messages directly address this year’s global campaign theme ‘Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use’. The messages provide youth with knowledge to empower them to stand up against tobacco use in their communities and the tobacco industry more broadly.
Ministry of Health emphasises their gratitude to NGO partners like Wan SmolBag who support their work in creating awareness about key public health issues like COVID-19 and tobacco.
Len Tarivonda, Director of Public Health stated: “We are very grateful to Wan Smolbag for their ongoing support in providing important Public Health messages in creative and interesting ways for the Vanuatu community”.
Wan Smolbag and Ministry of Health especially note the work of David Avok and Rainbow Theatre for the song, and the WSB film production team for the advertisements. Wan SmolBag are funded by DFAT, MFAT and Oxfam.
Tobacco products kill more than 8 million people every year. Tobacco and related industries are spending millions in targeting youth as new consumers. Ministry of Health joins WHO in their call to all young people to join the fight to become a tobacco-free generation and appeals to all community members to quit smoking today.