Over 200 youths dance off in anti-tobacco movement

SINGAPORE - It was a night of partying, screaming and dancing, where youths from 27 countries strutted their stuff and rocked to the beat, all in the name of saying no to smoking.

Live It Up Without Lighting Up (LIUWLU), held in conjunction with the 15th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health, is a social movement which started in Singapore and aims to encourage youths not to pick up smoking

It calls on youths to spread the message to live a tobacco free lifestyle to their friends, and use the time and money to pursue their talents and interests instead.

"There are several social influences as to why youths pick up smoking," said Dr K Vijaya, Director of the Youth Health Division of the Health Promotion Board (HPB).

"One of the key social influencers is peers. Our own studies have shown that 90 per cent of youth smokers have at least one friend who smokes," she added.

Thus in order to combat this and relate to youths, there is a need to use their peers to influence them, she said.

On Wednesday night, over 200 youths participated in the LIUWLU global movement held at Scape.

While some pledged not to pick up smoking on a mural, others took part in a dance competition, which saw eight teams battle it out for the top prize of $3,000 and a dance lesson with Hollywood choreographer Dejan Tubic.

Dejan has danced alongside the likes of Usher and Tony Braxton, and has over 40 million viewers on YouTube.

Speaking on why it's important for a dancer to be smoke free, he said: "Your instrument is your body, and if you smoke, you are ruining your lungs. You are ruining your entire body to move the way you want to a song."

That evening, the movement also broke the Singapore Book of Records for garnering the most Twitter followers in an hour.

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