By Kent Larsen
BYU RMs Lend Language Expertise to Foreign Anti-Smoking Fight
PROVO, UTAH -- A pioneering program led by BYU professor Gordon Lindsay is
helping to bring the anti-smoking fight to Eastern Europe. Lindsay took a
group of BYU students and faculty, at their own expense, to the Ukraine last
summer to assist with anti-smoking programs there, and he is planning to
lead a new group to Eastern Europe again this summer.
Last year's group traveled to Kiev for six weeks before moving to Russia for
an additional two weeks. There they spent time translating American Cancer
Society materials into Russian for use in presentations made to physicians
and youth groups. The 19 students, including 13 returned missionaries, also
attended classes each morning at a university in Kiev.
The program and the students also managed to catch the attention of local
media during their stay, "We had six news stations covering these American
students who were coming over apologizing for the predatory marketing
practices of American cigarette companies," Lindsay said.
Smoking is a major problem in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union,
with tobacco companies exporting to the Ukraine alone some 12 billion
cigarettes and using popular western cultural images to make their products
appealing. One student, Donald Allison, 27, said that these images are very
successful, "It's really important for people living in the former Soviet
Union to look like they're somehow associated with the west. It's very
prestigious to smoke Marlboro or some sort of American-brand cigarettes."
The group took a survey of a one square kilometer area of downtown Kiev, and
found 97 different individuals, places, stores or kiosks selling cigarettes,
a much higher density than in any American city.
Lindsay's next group of students and faculty plans to leave for Eastern
Europe on June 20th.
BYU students implement international anti-smoking programs
Excite News (Daily Universe) 23Jan01 D3
By Wade Hansen: Daily Universe