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Children against Tobacco (CAT)

Children Against Tobacco (CAT) is a student network initiated by the MACT through the children movement to work towards a tobacco free environment. It is a school based movement with voluntary membership to create awareness on the evils of tobacco. Through a student body it aims at developing responsible citizens for the future generation through intensive sensitization in the movement activities. It creates good-will ambassadors and advocates fighting against tobacco.

Children against tobacco (CAT) network were initiated by MACT to motivate and capacitate the school children across Tamilnadu to campaign for tobacco control. Teachers and children are selected and capacitated on tobacco issues who in turn provide training and sensitize others on tobacco use and need to fight against its use. CAT organizes competitions, exhibitions, and awareness programmes inside the campus on the evils of tobacco. It is coordinated by MACT Tobacco Control Initiative in coordination with PSI.

CAT in schools :
Teachers and students are selected and trained in tobacco use and the need for campaigning for a tobacco free world. This task group for CAT will be referred as CAT co coordinators. TOTs will be arranged for teachers to train and guide the CAT members. Block wise training will be arranged for them. Learning materials will be provided for them. Hazards of chewable tobacco, active and passive smoking, tobacco cessation, creating awareness on passive smoking, briefing on COTPA, training and coordinating the children forms the curriculum of the TOT sessions. Resource materials will be provided.

Role of children through CAT:

• They will help in identifying the tobacco users in the schools and bringing them for cessation at the early stage.
• They will educate the peer group on the hazards of tobacco usage.
• They will monitor other tobacco users and prevent such activities inside the school campus.
• They will also check the availability of tobacco products around 100 yards near the school.
• They will be involved in conducting series of activities as planned then and there based on the need of hour, just like celebrating the world no tobacco day, raising voice against the marketing of the tobacco industry, etc
• They will also educate the parents on the evils of tobacco and motivate them for cessation.
• In community level also CAT takes part in educating the public on evils of tobacco and motivating them for cessation.
• CAT provides access to relevant and vital information on the tobacco related issues and materials including badges, stickers, documentaries and stories to all its goodwill ambassadors.

Membership

CAT will issue membership cards and certificates for every sensitised member as goodwill ambassadors to carry on the message of tobacco free life.

Once in a year a district wise camp is organised and children are provided with special training. CAT also publishes a newsletter with information on tobacco related issues and other activitites of CAT.


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