A Smoke Free Generation in Belgium
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Belgian Alliance for a Smoke Free Society
Publication date: 2019-03-26
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2019;5(Supplement):A3
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The goal of the Alliance for a Smoking Society and the Campaign "Smoke Free Generation" campaign is to create a society where every child born as of 2019 has the right to grow up in a smoke free environment and will not start smoking. To achieve this, we must further denormalise smoking, in line with the defined key-strategy of the World Health Organisation to solve the Tobacco problem with children and youngsters. Children and young people have the right to grow up healthy, including smoking, without harmful substances negatively affecting their development. Moreover, (young) children often do not have the choice to evade smoke and are insufficiently aware of the possible health implications. Belgium has explicitly committed itself by the ratification of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to make the necessary efforts to work on the tobacco epidemic. However, the current efforts are not enough: Belgium fell to the European Tobacco Control Scale, a well-established ranking of European countries on tobacco policy, from the 13th place in 2013 to the 17th in 2017. To achieve our goal, we are focusing on the one hand to create a bottom-up movement 'Smoke Free Generation', to create smoke-free environments. This can only be achieved in collaboration with local governments, civil society organizations, private companies, individuals, etc. in favor of the concept ‘Smoke Free Generation’. On the other hand at the political level, the Alliance calls on politicians to take a number of necessary measures in a Memorandum ‘10 measures towards a smoke free society’ to be implemented after the elections in May 2019.
So far, almost 50 associations support our movement. The number of smoke free environments is increasing, such as playgrounds and sport facilities of municipalities, sport clubs, recreation parks, children’s farms, zoos and theme parks and hospital domains. Through campaigns aimed at the public at large, we are promoting our movement for a right to grow up in a smoke free environment.
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