Campaign to Keep Teens Smokefree Continues
A blast from the past is about to show Nova Scotia’s youth that smoking is uncool, as the provincial anti-tobacco campaign kicks off again today, Nov. 8. “There was a lot of buzz and support among youth, parents and the health community when we launched the campaign last winter,” said Maureen MacDonald, Minister of Health and Wellness. “We know that youth are heavily influenced by their peers and what they see around them. This campaign will continue to show them that hardly anyone smokes anymore.” Teens believe that about 42 per cent of their peers smoke, when in fact, it is only about 15 per cent. Using social media and creative displays that depict ashtrays as dinosaurs will help teens understand that hardly anyone smokes anymore. During the second phase of the campaign youth 13-18 years of age, and enrolled in a Nova Scotia school are invited to take part in a video and photo contest. Youth are asked to show their creative side with either a photo or two-minute video that shows what 85 per cent of youth are doing, while the other 15 per cent are smoking. The grand prize is $5,000, and 20 secondary prizes valued at $250 each will be awarded. The contest starts today and runs until Feb. 29. “We must take a proactive approach to addressing tobacco use in Nova Scotia. That’s why I strongly encourage youth to take part in the contest,” said Ms. MacDonald. “We want youth to demonstrate that in reality the smokers are in the minority.” In 1999, the youth smoking rate in Nova Scotia was 30 per cent. Through smoking reduction efforts the number dropped to 14 per cent by 2008. Since then, youth smoking rates have leveled off at 15 per cent. The province wants that number to drop to 10 per cent by 2015-16. For full contest details, youth can visit www.15andfalling.ca or go to www.facebook.com/15andfalling and click on the contest link.