Botswana: PSI Lauded for Condom Campaign
Population Services International (PSI) Botswana has been praised for promoting condom use among youth of 15 to 24 years through its good and innovative social marketing strategies.
Speaking at the annual stakeholders breakfast meeting this week, the Director for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care, Khumo Seipone, commended PSI's stellar work of bringing condoms out of the closet and making them acceptable to our daily life. "The thirteen long years of involvement of PSI in the Government of Botswana's national condom distribution program has complemented public sector free distribution program. Its contribution of marketing condom use among youth aged 15 to 24 years from less than 1% in 1988 to 72,9% in 2004 with reported use of condoms in last sex within 12 months with a non regular partner at 89% among men and 83% among women," said Seipone…
Making Smoking History Worldwide
…In short, the world has begun to reclaim clean air as the social norm. For too long, the tobacco industry has spent billions to normalize, market, and glamorize a behavior that is now recognized as a tragic drug addiction. Industry marketing has fueled global consumption exceeding 5 trillion cigarettes annually, leading to 100 million deaths in the 20th century and a billion deaths projected for the century ahead.4 Furthermore, evidence points to systematic increases in nicotine yields from cigarettes marketed in the United States in recent years. Fundamental to industry success is the portrayal of smoking as a desirable way of staying "alive with pleasure." Now, however, entire countries have begun to deglamorize and denormalize this addiction.
Changing social norms requires perseverance. Some countries have passed partial smoking bans as part of a strategy for transitioning toward comprehensive bans. France, after partially restricting smoking in bars and restaurants in 1991 but not enforcing the law, is currently phasing in a ban to be completed in 2008, backed up by a social marketing campaign, an enormous cadre of agents for enforcement, and fines for noncompliance. Change also entails confronting unfounded economic arguments: although critics regularly assail smoking bans for hurting business, more than 20 high-quality studies have shown no negative economic effect of smoke-free policies on restaurants and bars…
Two-Pronged Approach to Drug Problem
…Neither street cops nor addiction treatment are going to be the cure-all for adolescent drug use. The only way to really turn the problem around is with the kind of social marketing efforts that convinces kids that drugs and alcohol are things not worth the risk of experimentation. That’s a long-term project, generations long, probably.
Until the day comes that drugs are no longer a threat, if that day ever comes, [Prince Edward Island, Canada] government should keep up the approach it’s now crafting — hammering people who sells illegal drugs, and helping young addicts before a teenage problem becomes a life sacrificed to substance abuse.