This coming Tuesday, don’t be an April fool, stop smoking

This April 1, when according to custom we can make April fools of each other, is dedicated to spreading the message that smoking is harmful to one’s health and that these effects begin at an early age – even primary school children are now smoking. According to the Thorax Foundation, founded by Professor Haralambos Roussos, 90 percent of smokers took up the habit in their early teenage years or even in their childhood, so the problem is one of education, both at school and in the home environment. It’s easier to prevent than cure, it seems, seeing how hard it is for adults to stop smoking. This Tuesday the foundation is holding an event at the Hotel Grande Bretagne to launch its campaign «Close to Children and Teenagers» and to honor its sponsors for health, education and research. The main aim of the program is to talk to young people in their own language, to get across the message that smoking is not in, but definitely out, that it is not an indication of manhood or sophistication. «Let’s talk to kids in their own language so that they will listen and understand the problem before it is too late,» said Roussos, who will be giving an address at the event. Afterward will follow a presentation of the CD-ROM «Cigarette? No Thanks!» by schoolgirl Theodora Francis and an address by children’s psychologist Katerina Laskaridou on an interdisciplinary center for the prevention of smoking as well as health education for children and teenagers. The CD-ROM was sponsored by the Bodosakis Foundation with the cooperation of Athens University, the Evangelismos, Sotiria, Sismanogleio, Eugenideio, Attikon and Attica Children’s Psychiatric hospitals as well as Greek Radio & TV (ERT). The music group Imiskoubria sing on the CD-ROM. The event will be attended by President Karolos Papoulias and Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos.

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