Like said, the best time to quit smoking was the day you started, the second-best time is today!
As per WHO, the burden of tobacco consumption rates in Egypt is among the highest worldwide. Recent studies showed that almost one quarter (22.8%) of Egyptians are current tobacco users, and around half of the adult Egyptian population are exposed to second-hand smoke at homes (48.9%).
As Egypt realized the enormous burden of tobacco use, they took positive steps to combat the tobacco epidemic. One of those steps was to raise awareness about the hazards of tobacco. They did that via online and social media campaigns. Such campaigns tackle multiple challenges by increasing knowledge about tobacco dangers. Also, highlighting the relation between Tobacco and COVID-19, promoting cessation services, and achieving demand creation and empowerment of the general population to defend their right to having smoke-free places in Egypt whether at home, work, public places, and transportation facilities.
The challenge is how to reach out to the right people. A flood of content appears to each user at once. Imagine thousands of distracting posts are eligible to appear in a user’s social media feed each day from followed accounts and pages, not to mention joined groups and suggested content!
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That is why the WHO and the Egyptian MOH chose to spread awareness via attention-grabbing creative content, and it is paying off. You can notice that from interactions and comments on each post of the campaign. Hundreds of people are engaging; many of them are asking for help and support.
Using Creativity to Address All Forms of Tobacco Utilization
Tobacco is used in many forms like inhalation of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars or smokeless tobacco forms like that ones that are sniffed, sucked, or chewed.
The campaign addresses different forms of tobacco utilization, including those mistakenly thought to be safe, like this video made in this campaign warning people of Electronic cigarettes that use a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, used to simulate the experience of smoking tobacco.
Using Vivid Imagination to Visualize the Hazards of Tobacco Exposure
Tobacco consumption causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), moreover, affects families and loved ones. This is how the WHO and the MOH collaborated to get the message across to as many people as possible through their creative visuals and solid strategy.
The Relation Between COVID-19 and Tobacco use
Here is one of the posts that could visualize the harms of tobacco use accurately and creatively. It shows the effect of tobacco on the recovery from COVID-19 and how it makes it worse by negatively affecting immunity and being life-threatening.
The negative impact of smoking on COVID-19 infection isn’t only through decreasing immunity and respiratory functions but also through spreading it via sharing contaminated hookah or shisha!
Raising awareness about the risks of tobacco using social media campaigns has paid off. They did not achieve this randomly. Along with solid strategy and ingenuity, they could reach as many people as possible and stay on top of their minds.