PHOTO: Don't smoke when I'm near 30 мая 2011, 15:12
Photo by Vladimir Dmitriyev©
A flash-mob timed to the World No Tobacco Day was held on May 28 in Almaty under the slogan “Don't smoke when I'm near.” Tens of children and teenagers in white T-shirts with “Don't smoke when I'm near” and “Quit smoking” signs, 'armed' with apples marched on Almaty Arbat (a pedestrian part of Zhibek Zholy street near Tsum shopping center).
The children's faces were covered with respirators symbolizing their desire to avoid cigarette smoke of the grown-ups. Young “demonstrators” offered the smokers to exchange a pack of cigarettes for an apple. Some agreed to exchange a couple of cigarettes, some gave a whole pack and others just ignored the kids' requests.
When the march achieved it's final destination point next to Tsum, all “trophies” were given to a carton effigy. The effigy painted by Almaty painter Zoya Falkova represented a creature who significantly suffered from smoking with all smoker-attributed appearance elements.
The event host, a popular radio DJ Alyona Lobastova, along with animators resembling human heart, liver and lungs, joined the children and went on to seize more cigarette packs. Their intensified effort yielded good results. One of the passers-by said, that this encounter in the street may even trigger him into starting his own battle against smoking. All the collected “evil sticks” and their packages were used to decorate the effigy that was later shot at from water guns with paint guns.
The music background for the event was a performance of Almaty bands Stranniki (Pilgrims) and Bosikom (Barefooted). A fair of “forgotten goods” was also held during the event, where goods were sold at token prices. All the collected money will be transferred to orphanages and foster homes.
On May 31 every year the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates the World No Tobacco Day, when it focuses on the risks for health caused by smoking and propagates effective measures to reduce smoking. Tobacco use is the second cause of death in the world (after hypertension) and currently every tenth adult in the world dies of smoking.
The World Health Assembly established the World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw attention of the world community to tobacco epidemics and its deadly consequences. This day helps propagate specific measures to counter smoking and promote observance of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Smoking is the most preventable epidemics that the world is facing today.
By Vladimir Dmitriyev