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March 1, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Mei makes it his mission to stub out tobacco habit

WAVING a flag with a drawing of blackened lungs, and wearing a T-shirt saying "Tobacco Kills" and a green, smoking-control volunteer's armband, Mei Lin is a human "No Smoking" sign.

The 22-year-old Tongji University student, one of the city's 20,000 smoking-control volunteers, has been fighting smoking in his university for the past three years.

"My father is a heavy smoker and I started to smoke out of curiosity at the age of 17," Mei said, "It was a bad thing to do as my asthma was triggered more often after I took up the habit."

Mei said his doctor once showed him an X-ray of his lungs where he saw what looked like black clouds accumulating into a small shadow. He began to realize the dangers of smoking.

"I managed to warn my roommates, schoolmates and other young people not to take up the habit by rejecting the very first try," said Mei.

Mei used his X-rays when he talked to fellow students. And it worked. He says most of them never touched a cigarette.

Other volunteers have their own methods and ideas of how to highlight the no-smoking message.

"We will work as a team and look for offenders in our complex," said Xu Xiyun, a 53-year-old neighborhood committee worker.

"If he or she doesn't stop, we will call the supervision authorities via the hotline, meanwhile stick to the smoker and block his or her way, so the smoker cannot escape."

Removing the ashtrays has prove effective in reducing the number of smokers at karaoke bars, according to Wu Jinjin, head waitress of Shanghai Gecheng KTV.


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