The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is turning to today’s youth on how they’d like to approach the issue and high risks of smoking and chewing tobacco.
Youth Respecting Tobacco is a video campaign encouraging teenagers to create short 30-second commercials, raising awareness on the habit’s risks.
FNHA Dr. Evan Adams says this gives the current generation the chance to show their creative side.
“So we asked our indigenous youth across the province of British Columbia exactly that question; what do you want to say to each other? We saw a number of great story ideas, and that’s exactly what they did.”
According to Dr. Adams, up to 54% of Aboriginal teens in BC are using commercial tobacco and smoking cigarettes before entering high school.
He says this is a disturbing number, but understands where these habits are coming from.
“Sometimes, they’ll say it seems to be pleasurable or that it might be familial; it’s something they grew up around. For some they might think it has a cool factor, and for some, they might just be habituated to it.”
Dr. Evan Adams spoke about the fentanyl crisis, youth wellness and the Youth Respecting Tobacco campaign at the @GOV_Conference. pic.twitter.com/y01Un0dtz4
— FNHA (@fnha) March 22, 2017
Dr. Adams hopes this campaign will express the new visions of today’s tech-savvy youth, which could also help kick the habit.
“It’s fresh, it’s interesting, and it’s really empowering for not only the listener, but also for the ones who gave the message. I think it’s great for young people to see themselves on the screen and see their ideas.”
The video contest runs until June 19th; you can click here for more information.