Teenage smoking is on the rise. Each year depending on which country you go to, there is a good chance that 10-30% of boys below the age of 15 have started on their first cigarette. Most do so due to experimentation and peer pressure.
Despite most countries having controls in the form of taxation, packaging restrictions as well age and point of sale restrictions, there is little done to directly address the issue of teens picking up smoking.
Tobacco Free Generation is a social movement that seeks to re-balance the landscape. Helmed by doctors, medical students and volunteers, we seek to connect with youths in schools to educate and encourage them to be part of the tobacco free generation and not to fall prey to being ‘replacement smokers’ of the tobacco industry. Tobacco Free Generation (TFG) encourages teens to be the generation that makes the difference, the generation that says NO to cigarettes and to look after themselves and their peers.
TFG global ambition is to moot the idea across borders, help volunteers from those nations start their own tobacco free generation movement and assist them to spread the message and grow the movement. TFG also seeks to be the umbrella organization to helm the global tobacco free generation movement, giving volunteers the world over as well as teens something they can identify with. It is our hope that with proliferation of the tobacco free generation the world over, even if countries do not initiate legislation to protect the young from tobacco, they themselves would have made the decision to be tobacco free and be the generation that makes a difference.
Who We are ?
We are originally a group based in Singapore. We are made up of doctors, medical students, school principals, teachers and members of public. Over the years, we also have garnered support from government linked organizations here in Singapore as well as international anti-tobacco advocates and their respective organizations the world over. Tobacco Free Generation is now registered as a non-profit entity to enable us to do more to for youths the world over.
What we do ?
We go to schools to run assembly programs. Whenever requested, we will work with schools to organize themed symposium sessions. Our work also involve working with schools to incorporate nicotine addiction theme into their curriculum where possible. Our annual Youth Summit is open to Singapore schools islandwide and we encourage schools to send student leaders and teachers to attend. Our annual Ride for TFG2000 is a round island bicycle ride where cycling enthusiasts made up of CEO’s, doctors, teachers, medical students and even politicians ride to encourage and show support for the tobacco free generation.
Besides local level, we also go to overseas conferences to promote the concept as well as run workshops to help others start similar movements in their countries.
The TFG Education Ecosystem has many distinct advantages. Some of these are
- It does not target addicted, adult smokers but instead, focussed on providing evidence-based tobacco prevention education for kids.
- Smokers, no longer being targetted, support TFG as they do want their children and future generations not to start smoking.
- This unity of both smokers and non-smokers for a common healthier, future population is more harmonious than the current divisive tobacco control regulations that penalise, alienate and dividing our people, allowing the tobacco addiction to prevail.
- It is inexpensive and captivating as it mobilises the creativity and social media networks of the young people.