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Kids participating in TC Arena Challenge

Protect Our Next’s Tobacco Control Hero Arena Challenge Reaches Rising Stars

Publish Date:

July 1, 2023

The Tobacco Tacklers, Tobacco Free Titans, Clean Lungs Crew, Tobacco Terminators, and Nicotine Ninjas faced off in the Tobacco Control Heroes Challenge. This exciting day of games, organised by Protect Our Next (PON), aimed to educate youth about tobacco, vaping, and the importance of tobacco control laws. Teams from the Rising Stars Discipline Camp tackled four themed challenges, each one shedding light on a different aspect of the bill, from Point of Sale signs to the damage caused by long-term use of electronic products.

Rising Stars Generation, a non-profit organization, is a beacon of hope for many young people. The camp’s objective is to instill discipline and leadership qualities in the youth to deter them from forming harmful habits such as substance abuse. By engaging in various programs, participants acquire the life skills necessary to overcome these challenges and develop into disciplined, well-mannered adults.

This hands-on learning resulted in surprising revelations for many of the 79 participants. Some admitted to being smokers, expressing shock at the dangers they had previously overlooked. They also had the opportunity to express their views on the Tobacco Control Bill and how they believe it would benefit South Africa and its citizens.

The program was designed to share essential information about the significance of tobacco control bills and their objectives, provide factual information about the tobacco industry and its impact on people and the environment and empower children with knowledge about the harms of tobacco so they can influence their peers and family members to refrain from smoking or quit if they have already started.

The Tobacco Control Hero Arena Challenge comprised four distinct challenges, each representing a different aspect of the bill:

  1. Puzzle Challenge: Teams had to find puzzle pieces following Point of Sale (POS) signs and assemble them.
  2. Memory Match Challenge: Teams had to match warning labels to graphic images, representing the plain packaging and Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) aspect of the bill.
  3. Bucket Challenge: Symbolising the damage caused by long-term use of electronic products, teams had to soak a sponge in water, navigate a course, and fill up a bucket.
  4. Vending Machine Challenge: In line with the vending machine provision of the bill, participants had to select healthy products while avoiding tobacco ones.

After completing all challenges, teams signed a pledge, received their envelopes, and entered a 100% smoke-free zone.

The event closed on a hopeful note, with PON determined to continue such engaging initiatives and promote an informed, smoke-free society. The ultimate goal? Supporting the passage of a new Tobacco Control bill to safeguard future generations.

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