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Sent on Mormon-News: 25Jan01

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


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