"Catch them Young to Say No to Smoking," Says AKMG
The catch them young campaign launched by the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates aims to inform youngsters about the grotesque health effects of tobacco.

On 29th May, 2013, the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates (AKMG), brought a presentation to Indian High School (IHS), Dubai students. Held at the Shaikh Rashid Auditorium, the campaign, called as the Catch Them Young, aimed to inform youngsters about the grotesque health effects of tobacco consumption.

AKMG is in a relentless pursuit to put an end to tobacco smoking. The campaign has been conducted in numerous schools in Dubai. The program began with an address from Dr.T.C. Sathish, president of AKMG, highlighting the significance of the campaign. The campaign was supported by a panel of doctors, each of whom facilitated it with the help of presentations and case studies, showing how smoking affects different parts of the body. The panellists' include Dr. Anil Kumar, Dr. Ejas Kader, Dr. Vinod Kumar, and Dr. S. Nair along with Dr. T.C. Sathish.

Each of the above mentioned doctors are specialists in their specific fields and hence, each of them emphasised on the effects of smoking on a particular part of the human body. Dr. T.C. Sathish presented first, he showed how disastrous smoking can be for the skin, causing an array of diseases such as skin cancer and emphysema. Dr. Anil Kumar's presentation followed next, he highlighted the risks of smoking on one's heart. Furthermore, Dr. Ejas Kader's spoke about the baleful consequences of smoking on musculo-skeletal systems. Later, Dr. Vinod Kumar, explained the gastro-intestinal side effects of smoking. With the thoughtfully compiled pictures and slides, the presentations palpably depicted each of their messages. The final presentation was by Dr. S. Nair which was of great importance as it discussed the methods with the help of which one can quit smoking.

"I think people just think that they could be lucky enough to get away with it (smoking) without any damage to their bodies. Some even think, smoking once or twice a week would not do any harm to them. This is the reason they still continue to smoke in spite of the fact that they are fully aware of its harmful effects." said a student when asked the reason why people continue to smoke even today, when the advertisements of almost every tobacco product have been banned.

One of the Doctors from AKMG mentioned, "we hope that this campaign will leave an everlasting impression on the minds of youngsters and help them fight the urge to ever smoke and also help their peers and elders to rid the practice".

The presentations along with highlighting the side effects of direct smoking on the body also showed how second hand smoking and even smoking shisha is detrimental to the body. The presentations were succeeded by a question and answers session. The colossal response by the students made it evident that the whole session did make a difference in their perspective about smoking. Some even questioned how they could convince their elders and make a difference in their perspective about smoking as well.

As quoted by Sir Herbert Read, "Great changes in the destiny of mankind can be affected only in the minds of little children." educating the young generation is also essential to ensure that the future generations never indulge in the practice and that even the older generations can be influenced.
- Written by Kartik Kumar, Junior Reporter for Light House.