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May 31, 2017

Tobacco a Threat to Us All; NDACC, Cancer Society Team Up

“Tobacco, A Threat For Us All” was the theme that guided activities to mark World No Tobacco Day. The activities also coincide with the culmination of a month of events held to increase awareness of cancer. Tobacco is linked to many forms of cancer and that was not lost on the National Drug Abuse Control Council that hosted the health fair. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

For the past five years, World No Tobacco Day has been celebrated across the country by the National Drug Abuse Control Council in conjunction with the Ministry of Health. Various health fairs would be set up in the various municipalities to foster awareness of the effects cigarette smoking can have on your health. Today, in Belize City, the day was commemorated at the grounds of the Belize Cancer Society on Mercy Lane where students and members of the public got first-hand knowledge about tobacco smoking.


Nayely Moreno-Rancharan

Nayely Moreno-Rancharan, District Coordinator, NDACC

“We have our informational fair. What NDACC is doing for today is we are giving information of the different effects, apart from cancer, of tobacco. Also we have different information methods of how to quit tobacco smoking. We know that it is not an easy task, it is not going to be an overnight thing, but we are working with the community on a whole—apart from the Cancer Society and other stakeholders—in order for people to quit smoking.”


Today also marks the end of cancer month and interestingly, there are many cancers that are linked to tobacco abuse. Heather Reneau of the Belize Cancer Society says that all stakeholders must partner together to fight all diseases.


Heather Reneau

Heather Reneau, Senior Administrator, Belize Cancer Society

“This one is of major importance to us because tobacco consumption is directly linked to cancer-related diseases and other NCDs. So the Cancer Society saw this as a perfect opportunity for us to collaborate our efforts and make it a big awareness activity, a huge screening activity that people can get the information that they need. If you have a tobacco habit or you are developing one, this is a resource fair that you can learn how to quit. You can learn information and you will see displays on the effects that tobacco has on your body, on cancers, on diabetes, [and] on your kidney.”


One person that knows all too well about the effects of tobacco and cancer is Minister Michael Finnegan. A cancer survivor for eight years, Finnegan says that he supports initiatives like these.


Michael Finnegan

Michael Finnegan, Cancer Survivor

“I try to do my part and try to assist as much as I could and that’s one of the reasons why I am here to lend my support to the cancer society and to try to influence people that cigarette smoking or tobacco on a whole is not a healthy thing.”


According to Corozal District Coordinator for NDACC, Nayely Moreno-Rancharan, activities are done all year round to foster awareness.


Nayely Moreno-Rancharan

“We do regular school visits to give them information on awareness as well as our health fair that we have.”


The theme for this year is “Tobacco, A Threat For Us All.” Duane Moody for News Five.

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