Article by Tajammul Hussain (Chairman SYNCH)

By May 27, 2020June 24th, 2020No Comments

SYNCH Tobacco Free Initiative 2020

‘Tobacco Free Homes’

Article by: Tajammul Hussain (Chairman SYNCH)
Dated: 27/05/20@ChairmanSYNCH/@SYNCHPakistan

Phase 1: Webinar by WHO Pakistan, SYNCH and UHS Lahore to train volunteers & make them ambassadors of health.

Phase 2: Trained volunteers will spread awareness and conduct ‘Tobacco-Free Homes’ sessions with their family members at home.

Phase 3: Instigate a Twitter trend with the hashtag #TobaccoFreeHomes to highlight the initiative on a global scale – 31st May 2020 at 04:00 pm – 05:30 pm (GMT +5).

‘Tobacco-Free Homes’ is phase 2 of ‘Tobacco Free Initiative 2020’. In this phase, volunteers of SYNCH, trained through the webinar, conducted under WHO Pakistan; Shahzad Alam Khan (WHO Country Officer for NCDs) and UHS Lahore; Vice-Chancellor UHS, Prof. Dr. Javed Akram would spread awareness among their family members regarding hazards and prevention of smoking at their homes.

 A short review of our life-changing project

It’s no longer a mystery – everyone now knows how smoking has terribly affected the lives of smokers and the people surrounding them. But is SYNCH playing its part to reduce these risks for the common man? Below is an outline on how ‘Tobacco-Free Homes’ is effective and how I compare it to Julia Abigail’s quote:

“Little drops of water, Little grains of sand, Make the mighty ocean, And the pleasant land.”


Familial Impact:

❖ Being based on the participation of family members in its entirety, I am certain that this initiative will leave an everlasting impact on all age groups from the children to the elderly. Children tend to reproduce the actions of their parents and we tend to curb this habit being taken up by the young ones through mass education. Similarly, the old and aged of the family have a compulsion to continuously dictate and repeat anything harmful, and this will serve as a constant reminder for the members of the family to discourage its use at home.

❖ For the first time in history, through this project, SYNCH has brought families to sit together at their homes and to discuss smoking and its hazards which will promote our culture, unity and foster understanding among the family members. This will not only serve as an activity for the children, but we hope to precipitate a sense of dislike and disapproval among the children towards smoking. And through conversations and
discussions at schools, we target to protect and salvage our future generations.

❖ Pakistani culture holds great esteem in gatherings and regular visits to friends and
family. This marks a pivotal point in the spread of awareness home to home. The eventual goal is to make “smoking kills” a word of mouth and see it being discouraged and disliked in offices, universities, markets, and even while traveling in busses and trains to influence and change the lifestyle of the general public.

❖ Considering the hazards of smoking, ranging from physical to mental health, from personal life to social life and from family to other relations, cigarette smoking doesn’t stop here. It jumps off to drugs, thefts, and other more toxic and harmful issues of our society, so much so, that it holds the power to destroy generations after generations.

❖ The females/daughters suffer the most when, in a society like ours, no one approaches them as they indulge in these bad habits, thereby hindering their proposals for marriage.

 Psychological Impact:

❖ After the training, the posters with hazards and prevention of smoking are to be displayed in rooms, homes, offices having smokers, and even in public transport for 7 days. This will also serve the purpose of the psychological training of smokers and nonsmokers.

The points mentioned on the charts and posters, when looked at constantly; even at nighttime will stay in their unconscious minds and when learned by heart; will leave an everlasting impact on their lives in their visual memories. Overall, this isn’t just a project, but a complete invitation for everyone to change their mindset and a complete package to mold their lives for the greater good. And once, when the implementation is
successful, the eradication of this deadly habit will become inevitable.

❖ On 31st of May (World No-Tobacco Day), when our volunteers will display ‘No-Smoking’ boards and signs outside their homes, not only will it grab the attention of every passerby, but also the children present at homes will consider it something very important and thus will condemn it before the elders do. This all will collectively be a mark of embarrassment for the smoker if his wife and his children condemn smoking in front of
him (kids telling elders to give up on bad habits) and will help him leave it forever or at least, not have it in front of them.

Environmental Impact:

❖ Overall, the environment will also be pleased with less smoke and pollution and will return to us in a healthier way. Passive smoking and its hazards will reduce simultaneously, thus helping us grow in good physical and mental conditions.


Spiritual Impact:

❖ Despite all the scientifically proven hazards and harmful impact of tobacco and smoking, Islam also condemns smoking, drugs, intoxication and its effects on the human mind and with this approach, we’ll also be diverting our minds towards spiritual training.


Educational Impact:

❖ Being medical students, this project, conducted at their level, will result in an overall grooming of these students and their colleagues and will, thus, promote a lifetime impression of speaking against this hazardous issue in their professional lives too.

❖ Tobacco-Free Homes, by a widespread organization, SYNCH (consisting of 1000+ members) extended all over Pakistan and its provinces will help in the interaction and learning of its volunteers and then in relation with other organizations, it will serve as a prime role model for training and teaching different volunteers and members all over

❖ Training from the two of the most renowned institutions, WHO Pakistan and University of Health Science, Lahore is yet another advantage for this organization to ensure the effectiveness of these awareness sessions.


Easy to Conduct:

❖ This project can be carried out in the easiest ways at homes without any obstacles and with zero funding. Gathering of family members and spreading awareness in a room, on the dining table or sitting in a garden has made it easier and more effective.



❖ Conclusively, when each and every above-mentioned point is constantly reminded, practiced, and implemented in the right way, with a determination towards change, human health starts improving too. Sense of taste and smell begins to improve within 48 hours of quitting smoking. The condition of the heart improves and risk of heart attack reduces after 2 weeks to 3 months of giving up on smoking. In as little as 1 month, a person’s lung function begins to improve, further improving the lung capacity.

❖ Tobacco smoking costs lives of more than 8 million people every year and seeing its severity, it is necessary to bring this topic under discussion and for families to teach their kids about its hazards and ill-effects, even if they don’t smoke at all. In this way, family members can play their role as health ambassadors before this malady institutes at their homes or in their community. It makes sense to spread awareness about this slow killer
beforehand because people of all ages can fall into this dark pit due to depression, peer pressure or any other factor and it becomes our duty to wipe off any first move towardsthis deadly ailment.

As the African proverb says,


We believe educating our mothers and wives can change the health trajectory of Pakistan. Moving towards a change in a collective and committed way, with unity and dedication, with one theme of training and influencing everyone along, not only will this initiative evolve and transform an individual, but an organization, society and the nation as a whole.

SYNCH (Solidarity among Young Nation for Change).

SYNCH Tobacco Free Initiative 2020

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