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EU Launches Anti-smoking Campaign Targeted At Young-What Are Sikhs Doing ?

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by Neutral Singh, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    SPNer Supporter

    Jun 1, 2004
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    Taken from other resource on internet...

    BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Union launched a euro72 million (US$95
    million) anti-smoking campaign targeted at young smokers Tuesday and the EU's
    health chief said he wanted to see smoking bans in the member states expanded
    EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said the new campaign -- "HELP: For a
    life without tobacco'' -- would complement other drives to counter smoking,
    which he blamed for 650,000 deaths annually across the 25-nation EU.
    "The sickness and death caused by smoking costs EU countries euro100 billion
    (US$133 billion) a year,'' Kyprianou told a news conference.
    "Prevention and information campaigns like "HELP'' are an investment in a
    healthier and more prosperous future for our citizens.''
    Ireland, Italy and Malta have already banned smoking in public places despite
    sometimes fierce opposition and Kyprianou would like the other member states
    to do likewise. At the moment though, he ruled out a common EU law on the
    issue, preferring to let member states decide.
    "I want to see a major shift in our society, where being smoke-free becomes
    the norm and the smoke-addicted are a dwindling minority,'' He said. "If all
    EU countries followed the lead of Ireland, Italy and Malta and banned smoking
    in public places it would go a long way to achieving this.''
    The EU head office also wants governments to put pictures -- from horrific to
    humorous -- on cigarette packs to frighten or cajole smokers into quitting.
    Tobacco is the single largest cause of avoidable death in the 25-nation EU.
    The Commission said it accounts for 15 percent of all deaths and 25 percent of
    all cancer deaths.
    The HELP campaign will be targeted at teenagers and twenty-somethings, ages
    where people might still be prevented from picking up the habit or still be
    coaxed into quitting. Eighty-percent of smokers have picked up the habit in
    their teenage years, Kyprianou said.
    "Once hooked, it is a habit that takes many of them to an early grave,'' he
    It is ironic, that we had realised from our Gurus the evil of smoking
    centuries ago, and as Sikhs we have kept away from smoking generally,of course
    some balck sheep are always present in any community.
    But very sadly, I fear we as Sikhs are missing another opportunity to
    publicise and raise the profile of our community, and the Guru Sahib's message to
    humanity about the evils of smoking and the other kurahits.Sikhs seem to
    have retreated into a self reassured cocoon- we dont seem to be concerend
    -outside our own little world.
    Why can't our so called NATIONAL organisations use this opportunity at
    national level;our gurduaras at their local levels to run
    workshops/educational sessions etc for the Sikhs and general public about the evils of smoking
    revealed to us four centurieis ago.
    Why not work with the national organisations and raise the profile of the
    good non-smoking Sikh public etc, among the non- Sikhs.

    Why not link in the naam simran sessions to wean people out of smoking and
    other social nos.Mediataion is a way of relaxing for many people.After all
    ,it was through meditation Singh Sahib Bhai Harbhajan Singh ji ignited the
    interest of the Sikh faith among the young americans.
    It is sad that one of the main kurahits of sikhi is to refrain from smoking
    tobacco,but how many people out there really know this?How many people out
    there know it is almost an insult to offer a Sikh a ciggerate ,no matter how
    social and a good friendly gesture a practice it may be in another culture.
    How many times has this happened to Sikhs where, suddenly a non sikh offers a
    ciggerrate?Many will quickly decline,but HOW many do take the opportunity to
    explain to the person it is not regarded polite or friendly to offer a Sikh
    a ciggerrete- but amounts to an almost insult to Sikhs.I am sure very few
    have taken the trouble to do that.
    In todays Britain, we pride as the third largest religion,yet many a time,
    I have been offered a ciggerrete,which I have always declined but ensured,I
    also made the point to explain Sikhs do not smake ,and that it can be
    regarded as an insult.Of course, the same person does not repeat the mistake again.
    On the other hand, no one would offer non kosher food to a jew, or non halal
    or pork pies to a muslim.Everybody knows that.But few people know about Sikhs
    and smoking.
    Will Sikh bodies take on this opportunity to participate in helping people
    come off smoking, and rais ethe Sikh view about smoking is bad for health.
    Gurduaras can open up areas where people can pop in to discuss the evils of
    smoking and explore ways to come of smoking, through the Sikh perspective.
    Such activities can be also directed for Sikh alcoholics.Help them through
    Nam simran and counselling to wean off alcohol.Alcohol is one of the biggest
    vices o the Sikh people today.
    One can travel from Malaysia to Australia, to USA, Canada to UK and Germany
    to India,alcohol is the root cause of many problems with todays Sikh
    Gurduaras are a major centre of Sikh lives and activities,as well as of
    spiritual enlightenment.Therefore they have a real role to play in countering
    such vices.They should be working in partnership with the local sangat and its
    The problem is how to change the mindset prevalent presently among Gurduaras
    and the sangats?It is only by involving together, and woking in partnership
    that we can reaslise the dream of our community and work for its better
    health and unity.
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