New campaign against smoking an online hit

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New campaign against smoking an online hit

‘Please smoke somewhere else’ is what non-smokers can tell smokers under a global campaign that is now alive in the UAE.

by

Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Wed 22 Aug 2012, 8:37 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:42 PM

Targeting non-smokers, the campaign urges people to speak up and ask for their right to a clean and healthy environment by building their ‘own no-smoking zones’.

Launched on August 17 by a group of Dubai-based Arab, American and German journalists who believe that the world needs a global unification to fight the war against smoking, the campaign ‘My Own No Smoking Zone’ (MonsZone) has already received massive support online. In the UAE, the Twitter handle @mons_zone has already garnered 100 followers in four days.

“The idea came about to us when we realised that targeting smokers usually doesn’t work,” said one of the founders who wanted to remain anonymous so as to keep the focus on the cause.

“During a visit to Uganda in Africa (and also being smokers earlier), people approached us in a very direct manner requesting us to go and smoke somewhere else,” he said.

“We found this very effective and got the idea of encouraging people to be their own no-smoking zones,” he added. The online project has been developed by the HeyDubai Team (www.HeyDubai.wordpress.com) which is a blogging and social media platform that educates and promotes Dubai and the UAE.

“When you find yourself surrounded by a smoker or group of smokers, simply tell them how it disgusts you and how you do not wish to be affected by their self-destructive habit. What better way to keep people from doing something wrong/bad than to tell them how disgusting you find it?” he asked.

A press handout for the project says, “The concept encompasses global events, community ambassadors. It is vital to our concept to reach children, teens and adults from around the world; the best way to reach them is through celebrities and governments that want to make a difference.”

Plans are afoot to rope in community ambassadors, celebrities from the UAE, government officials as well as media professionals.“Monszone intends to give individuals an idea on how to protect themselves from second-hand smoke,” said the founder. Events will focus on health, safety and nutrition. “It is our intention to tackle the habit of smoking by targeting not its end users but their surroundings and through new generations,” he added.

The UAE government has also developed a number of anti-smoking policies to tackle the issue head on.

asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com



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