Three days ago we introduced a one-hour lecture on Advocacy and Lobbying for Tobacco Control to our first-year medical students. The first lecture was delivered in 2014 after we revised our undergraduate medical curriculum. The aim of this topic was to expose and engage medical students early in their career on broader public health issues. Currently, the mass media plays a key role in this advocacy and lobbying process. Localised Malaysian scenario and case studies using recent experiences working with the media to commemorate the World No Tobacco Day on 31st May 2014 was illustrated and explained. Now tobacco control component is strongly enforced in UM medical curriculum.
From a one-hour didactic lecture, this expanded into a one-day interactive workshop to create awareness on Tobacco Control for university students. We then printed the “Tobacco Control Awareness and Advocacy Handbook”. Tobacco control awareness and advocacy should be portrayed as influential potentials in bringing about positive change in law, regulations, resource allocations and institutional practices relevant to public health.
Do you know that our team, the Nicotine Addiction Research Collaboration Group run cool Tobacco Control Awareness and Advocacy workshops in our campus? It is called HIPSTAR (Hidup Sihat Tanpa Rokok). We encourage UM students to attend this workshop and strengthened the activities of your NO-COTINE Clubs in your residential colleges. Formation of groups from the lay public and professional bodies have assisted in making changes as we know them now. Once again, today 31st May 2018 we celebrate World No Tobacco Day, and the theme for this year is “Tobacco and Heart Disease”. For the smokers out there, jom quit! Indeed Ramadhan is a blessed month to stop smoking because “Nafas Baru Bermula Ramadhan”.
Check out the video of the launching on our University of Malaya’s Facebook page
Writeb by: Dr. Farizah Hairi, 31st May 2018, Universiti Malaya