Adventists Bring Stop-smoking Message to Belgrade
The Health Ministries Department of the South-East European Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SEEUC), together with nongovernmental organization Life and Health, held a two-day seminar for pastors and health club leaders in Belgrade, Serbia, on September 30 and October 1, 2012.
STOP SMOKING: Participants in an anti-smoking training program in Belgrade, Serbia, sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist ChurchSmoking is a major public health problem in Serbia. The government and the Ministry of Health have organized successful campaigns since 2003, and the number of smokers decreased 7 percent from 2000 to 2006. But figures are still high, especially among women.
The seminar’s aim was to teach every Seventh-day Adventist church how to become a place where smokers who want to quit can get advice, support, and assistance. Each church that has a health club can organize smoking-cessation seminars based on the Quit Now! 7 Steps to Freedom program.
The seminar, with 150 participants present, was opened by Đord-e Trajkovski, SEEUC president. Guest speaker was Richard Willis, executive director of the United Kingdom National Committee for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Dependency and a member of the executive committee and associate director of the International Committee for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Dependence, based in Washington, D.C. He shared his knowledge and experience with implementation of smoking-cessation programs. Willis also challenged and inspired participants, even if they are not physicians, medical technicians, or nurses, to work with smokers. During the workshops he gave practical advice about how to cope with stress and withdrawal crises.
Among other presenters were: Dr. Zorica Plavšic´, who had a presentation about smoking pandemics, the situation in Serbia, and tobacco smoking as a risk factor for health disorders; Dr. Branislav Hacˇko, who talked about the partnership between health clubs and local community; and Dr. Petar Borovic´, who held a presentation about positive effects after smoking cessation.
Vlado Havran, health ministries director at the SEEUC, presented up-to-date experiences with the work of health clubs.
During the workshops participants got practical instructions about how to implement the Quit Now! program in their churches and health clubs. Each participant received a CD with educative materials and the book Enjoy Without Tobacco Smoke, written by Plavšic´.
—reported by tedNews