No Tobacco Day Awareness Event

Participants of the No Tobacco Day parade in Timor Leste.

Timor Leste Mission | Southern-Asia Pacific Division (SSD)--Timor Leste (TL) is one of the world’s newest countries. Among its population of 1.2 million a devastating 69.5 percent of adults and 40 percent of youth smoke.  On May 31, TL Adventist Health Ministry joined the Ministry of Health of the government and other NGOs for the No More Tobacco Day parade. The local high school marching band brought their parade orchestra, which arrested the attention of participants and observers. According to Becky House, HM director, over 250 marched in the parade and at least 1,000 spectators watched. The parade ended with exercise, talks about the harm of smoking, and featured the testimony of a business owner, Mr. Zelindo Lai, who had quit smoking.  Mr. Lai runs a bus service from his town seven hours away. He is proud to offer the only no-smoking bus service. This and many other steps are being taken by the Adventist Church in Timor Leste to help the country become more educated about the harmful effects of tobacco.