My Reason to Write, The Big Pitch Film Festival, and Creating Youth Advocates in Arkansas
My Reason to Write and The Big Pitch Film Festival are part of Stamp Out Smoking’s youth and community activities. Designed to engage Arkansas students in tobacco prevention and cessation efforts and reduce the state’s youth smoking rates, these activities are open to public and private schools in all 75 counties. Combined, My Reason to Write and The Big Pitch Film Festival reach students in grades 2 – 12. Both activities seek to educate youth about the dangerous health effects of tobacco and nicotine products; reveal the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics and efforts to target youth; and generate youth–driven tobacco prevention and cessation messaging.
An important part of youth outreach is finding ways for educators and community leaders to engage students. Youth advocates can learn more at sosprojectprevent.com.
Left Swipe Dat
In 2000, 23 percent of teens smoked cigarettes. Thanks to nearly 15 years of hard work by truth® and other comprehensive tobacco control efforts at the federal and state levels, now only 8 percent of teens do. While this is an epic win, the fight is far from over. Big Tobacco didn’t disappear. Tobacco companiescontinue to adapt their tactics in efforts to reachyoung people. Inadvertently, smokers themselves canserve as marketers of tobacco use. Every “like” and“share” of a smoking-related picture has the potentialto glamorize smoking and promote it as a cool oracceptable behavior. The act, image and acceptance of smoking-related behavior is being renormalized at scale.
In 2014, truth launched the Finish It campaign to empower teens to make their generation the generation that ends smoking. Teen smoking rates are at their lowest levels in 23 years, and through the Finish It campaign, truth aims to enlist teens to make the fight against tobacco use their own and be the generation that ends smoking for good.
Since its launch, truth has released several thought-provoking ads, showcasing what progress is being made in the fight to end smoking, as well as the power of social media in this fight. In February, truth released the latest component of this campaign,called “Left Swipe Dat.”