The UCT celebrated, as it does every May 31st, World No Tobacco Day. This initiative, promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to raise awareness among the population about this significant public health issue. This year, the WHO has proposed the slogan ‘Grow food, not tobacco,’ with the goal of sensitizing tobacco-producing countries to choose crops that bring value to society instead of promoting the persistence of the tobacco epidemic.
On the occasion of this commemoration, the Tobacco Control Unit (UCT) of the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) and the Bellvitge Campus of the University of Barcelona (UB) have organized a series of activities to promote a healthy lifestyle. The activities began on May 25th with the start of the ‘Smoke-Free Week,’ promoted by the Public Health Agency of Catalonia, and culminated on May 31st.
Some of the highlighted activities include:
• Information stands: Information points were set up at both the ICO and the UB to promote a tobacco-free life. At the Bellvitge Campus, dentistry and medical students participated in this activity after receiving training on how to provide brief interventions to quit smoking. At the ICO, all UCT staff provided recommendations at a stand. In total, at both stands, around a hundred people received information about tobacco, and about thirty of them had their carbon monoxide levels measured. Approximately fifteen people signed up for the periodic informative workshop held at the ICO to motivate them to quit smoking and start a cessation process.
• Survey: A brief survey was conducted among patients and visitors to assess their level of agreement with the compliance and expansion of the smoke-free regulations in the outdoor spaces of the ICO. 77% of the participants were aware of the current regulations, which prohibit smoking both indoors and outdoors in acute care hospitals. 88% of the respondents expressed their agreement with this regulation. However, around 74% of the people have witnessed others smoking in the center, mainly at the hospital entrances and outdoor spaces.
• Informational videos: Videos were created and screened to provide information about the smoke-free policies at the ICO. A video featuring testimonials from people who have quit smoking at the Tobacco Consultation was also prepared. Both videos will be projected on the outpatient clinic screens in the coming months to inform about the regulations and tobacco-related services at the ICO Hospitalet.
• Informational messages on social media: The ICO, with the support of the UCT, disseminated various messages through their Twitter account regarding tobacco prevention and control.
• Signature collection: Participation was requested at both the ICO and the UB in the European campaign to achieve ‘The first tobacco-free generation’ for the entire healthcare, academic, and user community. More information: https://eci.ec.europa.eu/029/public/#/screen/home.
• Physical activity: Two sports monitors from the UB organized physical activity sessions at the Bellvitge Campus with the collaboration of UB students. And at the ICO, visitors were invited to play bowling.
• Media appearances: The UCT team has participated with several media outlets to promote various tobacco control initiatives led by its members. This year, the “Smoke-Free Homes” project has generated a lot of interest, and several media outlets have wanted to give it coverage. It is an innovative project that seeks to involve parents in applying the rule of no smoking at home and preventing their children from being exposed to tobacco smoke. Below we summarize the media impacts.
El Periódico “El 40% de los padres fuman en casa: epidemiólogos y escuelas se alían para sacar el humo de los hogares”
La Vanguardia “El ICO impulsa una investigación para que los padres dejen de fumar en casa”
Infobae “Investigadores impulsan un programa con las AFA para que los padres dejen de fumar en casa”
COPE “Investigadores impulsan un programa con las AFA para que los padres dejen de fumar en casa”
ABC “Proyecto pionero para que los padres no fumen en casa: Mis hijas no tienen por qué convivir con mi nicotina”
Radio Badalona. Entrevista
With all these initiatives, the members of the UCT have once again demonstrated their enthusiasm and commitment to achieving a healthier society, which clearly involves being free from tobacco products.