"Think on your feet. Say no to tobacco".

"Think on your feet. Say no to tobacco".

Milano, ItalyMilano, Italy
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Cancer can be dramatically reduced through education. We challenge children aged 10-11 yrs with a peer to peer project to gain critical awareness and overcome pitfalls of tobacco later in their teens. To do so we use new and innovative approaches of drama techiniques, theatre and movement.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

We are committed to reduce cancer incidence and mortality through information, education, and prevention. Our based interventions in the primary care setting reduce the risk for children and adolescents taking up smoking and living an unhealthy lifestyle.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We train our tutors to educate and inform through drama-based interventions that are both amusing and interesting for children. Tutors are not only trained but also periodically supervised during their work. We ask children and teachers to give us ideas and feedback on all our interventions. Children are invited to take part in the Young Tobacco Fighters Club to prevent tobacco use among peers, take a stand against the exploitation by the tobacco industry and encourage positive behavior in all aspects of life including the environment (the ecological destructive impacts of tobacco on the environment and ecosystem are serious cause for concern. A smoke free generation means an eco friendly generation! )
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We believe that to engage young children in their personal health and well-being is to prevent illness and prolong life in terms of quality of life years.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Our charity has been working on tobacco school programmes for over 20 years. We have reached around 1.5 million people: teachers, kids and families. The number of adults dropping smoke is now going down in Italy (in 1957 smokers rate was35,4% in 2010 it dropped to 21,7%). The average ten-year survival rate for the disease has doubled over the past 30 years. Half the people diagnosed with cancer today will still be alive in five years’ time.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The increase in number of schools from 500 to 700, is to be reached in 1-3 years. this should anable us to cover between 85- 90% of all Milanese schools.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The local authority and a few other charities do similar activities but not all of them are free of charge like ours. The lack of funds is drastically reducing this kind of work.

Founding Story

Getting the word out. In 1948 our Charity realized that cancer could be substantially reduced through education, behaviour modification and early detection. LILT started a revolutionary fight against tobacco that changed they way people approached cigarettes.
Organization Name

Lega Italiana Lotta Tumori sezione di Milano

About You
About You
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Explain what the "innovation" is about, e.g., is it the idea and/or the model you use to accomplish the idea, or your understanding of the target population, etc.?

William McGuire a social psychologist published in 1968 studies showing it is surprisingly easy to train people to resist attacks (on their beliefs) by giving practice at resisting arguments to defend themselves with. Our model originates from the idea teens become smokers because of the power of peer pressure but if we teach children to resist pressure from their peers who believe that smoking is "cool" we are be able to reduce chances that these children become smokers in a later stage.

Describe how your innovation model is distinct from any other organization in your field?

By comparison with old-fashioned tobacco interventions such as the traditional approach on health issues (i.e don't smoke because it's bad for your health), our arguments build children confidence and help them make decisions on their own. The overall objective is to empower pupils with skills to speak out on cigarette issues and empower them to overcome pitfalls of tobacco. To do so we use new and innovative approaches of drama techiniques, theatre and movement and also an "exclusive" membership to our "Tobacco Young Fighters Club".

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

Italian state schools are going through a rough time. They lack of basic items (soap, toilet paper, tissues are provided by families). Our project is totally free of charge. As compared to other charity projects asking for economic support, we already have a succesful entry key.
We have a team of teachers and psycologists that pay visit to more than 600 schools every year in the area of Milan.

How do you make sure you constantly innovate in light of (potential) external challenges, or your growth plan?

Through our team of teachers, psycologists, doctors and counsellors we receive constant first hand feedback, that is:
-written assessment from school teachers for purposes of grading and reporting
-letters and emails from pupils
-phonecalls from parents (infopoint)
-assessment from our drama and theatre partner on actual performance in class (for the improvement of our teaching method)

Organization Country

, MI, Milano

Business Model
The systemic challenge you are trying to overcome (select one)

Realign the incentives in the public healthcare system in mature markets, or

Health area (target market) where the need is [select only one]

Other specialty care

Categories along the health continuum you are covering [select all that apply]


Stage that best applies to your solution [select only one]

Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)

Core strategies of your business model [select all that apply]

Approaches to behavioral change at the individual level.

If other, specify here:
Most relevant tools you are using to implement the strategies outlined above [select only two]

New skills, Education/training.

If other, specify here:
What is your value proposition?

Be smart. Think head first.
We challenge school children to develop skills and gain critical awareness so that they are empowered themselves with a solution.
As anyone can reduce the possibility of dying for cancer by adopting simple behaviours and rules such as not smoking.

Who is your customer(s)?

Mainly state primary schools and children aged 10-11 yrs.
Also teachers and parents (family)

What approaches to you use to reach your customers?

We write to schools, teachers, headteachers and propose our free of charge classes.
Our written communication is followed by a phone call.
We also use a Sponsor get Sponsor plan to work through a network of valuable teachers and increase our opportunities.
Also we have a strong brand awareness in schools being in the market for over 20 yrs with free of charge activities.

What are your primary activities?

Our trained tutors deliver drama and theatre based activity right in primary schools. Our workshop lasts about an hour and engages children and teachers.
A welcome kit (stickers, brochcures, leaflets, a leaflet & letter to parents) is handout out to children. Children fill in a card indicating whether they would like to enter the Young Tobacco Fighter Club.
Young Tobacco Fighters can enter a competition. Around 500 winners from the Club are invited to the Award ceremony in May 31st to show their work (video, drawings, poems).

What other challenges - individual, organizational, or environmental – are you currently facing or might hinder future success of your business, and how do you plan to overcome those?

1.The rise in popularity of the newly developed electronic cigarette is a clear concern for us (cigarette industry markets on teens, also studies being done on electronic cigarettes are few and far between).
2.We don't have a dedicated website on this project.
3.We distribute welcome kits to all children. 1kit=1child
As each welcome kit weights about 200 gr, we need like to change this material in favour of new media/web material both for environmental and practical reasons (welcome kits are heavy tocarried around).

Briefly describe your growth strategy going forward

Thanks to our 20 yrs experience we manage to cover around 65% of all schools in the Milan area. In the next 18 months we wish to hit between 85% and 90% of all schools.
To do this we need to increase our counselling network (we currently have 10 leaders), and work on our telemarketing activities and create ad hoc website

What dimensions for growth are you currently targeting for your innovation [select all that apply]

New customer group(s).

What makes your business "ready" for growth?

The shift from sickness and cure to wellness and prevention is compulsory in a world where the management of long term medical conditions and other issues relating old age are of increasing concern.

What are your key growth objectives?

We want to increase by 25% our presence in schools.
Also we want to cut costs on printing materials by going on the internet. This should save us around 40% of costs which could be reinvested in further educations interventions at secondary school.

Organization's Country of Operation

, MI, Milano

Social Impact
What methods for quantification of social impact are you applying (if at all)?

We can't apply a method because children are on their last year at primary school and can not be contacted the following year. Also we have privacy restrictions (being under age). Yet, we would like to work on this and find a way to evaluate the social impact over the years.

Could your solution work in other geographies or regions? If so, where?

Yes, other cities could benefit from our programme.
Our charity has over 100 sections throughout Italy. At the momen, though, we can't extend our method because of the lack of budget.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

In three years time we will have nearly covered 85-90% of all primary schools in the Milan area and province (we now have 65-70%) reaching over 3.000 people (children and their families).

Elaborate on your current financing strategy

Since 1948 we have been raising sufficient levels of income to enable us to deliver our mission.
We occasionally have restrictions imposed by supporters on how to apply the funds received. We have a sufficiently diverse source of income to avoid the high level of risk associated with depending on one source (that is why we have regular donation, single donation, special occasion donation, events, race, sport challenges etc).

Share of revenue generation in total income of organization (in percent)


Direct sales to patients or other beneficiaries (in percent)


Of the possible sources of these sales listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Friends and family, Patients, Private businesses, Other beneficiaries.

Licensing fees, e.g., for technology/franchise model (in percent)


Of the possible sources of these licensing opportunities listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Service contract with organizations, e.g., government, NGOs (in percent)


Of the possible sources of the service contracts listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Explain your revenue generation strategy in more detail

Our charity is gradually focusing on revenue-generating activities, both as a means of carrying out our mission and as a means of generating revenue to support it. Thanks to the growth of web-based strategies and global communications we work with commercial "partners" (corporate) to develop innovative income-generating strategies. One example are our Detection and Early Prevention Centres to deliver check-ups for the most common forms of cancer. Highly qualified cancer specialists and the most up-to-date cancer detection equipment are used. Our voluntary sector and particularly the member fee is a good source of income, as well as local authorities and foundations, investments and rents.

Share of philanthropy in total income of organization (in percent)


Philanthrophy strategies you are using

Diversified strategy.

Explain your philanthropic approach in more detail

We periodically reevaluate and realign our philanthropic approach to meet public needs and provide a meaningful way to express private beliefs and commitments.
We make our philanthropy to involve next generations and constantly explore new philanthropic opportunities such as asking vehicle donation programs, donation of goods, payroll giving, staff fundrasising etc)

Expand on your selections; explain how you will sustain funding over the next 1-3 years.

We receive no government funding. Every step we make towards beating cancer relies on every euro donated.
With the inspiring generosity and commitment of our supporters we shall keep on funding through legacies, direct giving, shop income, events and volunteer fundraising .

Years in Operation

Operating for more than 5 years

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro i Tumori is as a Not for Profit Organisation recognised by Lombardia Region. It is part of a Local Authority on an associative basis and it operates under the High Patonate of the President of the Republic.