New group founded in Serbia by medical student Zlatko Božić

Zlatko, please introduce yourself.

My full name is Zlatko Božić and I am 24 years old. As a student of medicine I am particularly interested in disciplines pertaining to matters of the brain, mind, and our immune system as well as public health issues. My free time interests are music, sci-fi and epic fantasy literature and other media, philosophy and practical ethics – effective altruism.

What motivates you to found the project?

After hearing about the Education Against Tobacco initiative, to me, as a coordinator of a local EMSA public health project, founding an EAT team seemed like a natural next step, given that I had already been looking for ways of steering our project into a more structured and evidence-based approach. Furthermore, becoming a part of a larger network of like-minded individuals was a huge motivator, as it would provide support, a sense of comradery and purpose for current and future students involved with work on this important issue.

What are your next steps in Serbia?

After finalizing translation of the materials, we are due for our first team meeting, where we will discuss the possibility of a pilot workshop at a local school, appoint coordinators and get to know each other. I expect that the program will start in September, with the beginning of the new school year.

Which schools will you focus on?

We will be focusing on adolescents in final years of elementary and first two years of secondary school.

How is the smoking prevalence in Serbia?

The smoking prevalence in our country is among the highest in Europe, with the data from the National Health Survey in Serbia 2013 indicating that the smoking prevalence in the population from 15 to 64 years of age is 34.7%, (37.9% among men, and 31.6% among women). The global youth tobacco survey from 2013 states that the overall prevalence of current tobacco smokers is 15.0%, almost the same in boys (15.3%) and girls (14.6%).

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Medical Student Zlatko Bovic

Medical Student Zlatko Božić