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Egypt Ministry of Health & Population Launch New Tobacco Control Campaign

Note: World Lung Foundation united with The Union North America. From January 2016, the combined organization is known as “Vital Strategies.”

(New York and Cairo, Egypt) –Egypt's Ministry of Health & Population launched a new mass media campaign on July 30 that visually depicts how smoking creates deposits of fat that clog human arteries. The nationwide campaign, called ‘Save Yourself', was developed with technical and financial support from World Lung Foundation. It will air for four weeks before and after Ramadan.

“Save Yourself,” which was tested rigorously among focus groups in Egypt, has already been aired in tobacco control campaigns in India and Australia, with measurable impact. The ad has now been adapted for Egypt's diverse audience. The campaign aims to inform millions of Egyptian smokers about the serious effects tobacco has on their health and to motivate them to quit before they become sick.

Dr. Nasar El Sayad, Deputy Minister of Health, said, “Our government is committed to reducing the toll tobacco takes on Egypt's citizens. Many people report they know that smoking causes lung cancer but fewer understand that smoking also severely damages the circulatory system. Smoking can cause clogged arteries, which can lead to stroke and even paralysis.”

Sandra Mullin, Senior VP Communications, World Lung Foundation said, “This campaign uses a scientific approach to send a clear message that smoking can cause serious damage to people's arteries. We are honored to be in partnership with the Ministry of Health & Population on this ad, which we hope will motivate people to quit.”

Research has shown that mass media campaigns are one of the most effective means to encourage people to stop smoking. It is one of the World Health Organization's M-P-O-W-E-R (W=Warn) strategies to reduce tobacco consumption. MPOWER strategies are endorsed and promoted by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, of which World Lung Foundation is a principal partner.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of mortality in the world today, and is responsible for more than five million deaths each year – one in ten adults worldwide. In India, it kills almost one million people each year.