THE PROBLEM: New Nicotine Delivery Products are on the Rise
While cigarette smoking has been steadily declining in the United States, many alternative nicotine delivery products have been gaining popularity. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC April 2015), current e-cigarette use among middle and high school aged students tripled from 2013 to 2014.
E-cigarette use has surpassed current use of every other tobacco product overall including conventional cigarettes. According to CDC Director Tom Frieden, “Nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use.” (CDC April 2015).
Recent health reports reveal that e-cigarettes are just a new nicotine delivery device. Alternative nicotine delivery products, such as e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and water-pipes may cause serious potential health problems because of the chemicals and toxins they contain. They do not contain warning labels and the delivery devices are often sold online making them easily accessible to youth. Many e-cigarettes come with vapor flavorings such as bubble gum, banana pudding, Dr. Pepper, cotton candy; flavors that many suspect are aimed at youth.
Youth Created Anti-Vaping PSAs & Posters
To counter the rapid increase of youth use of e-cigarettes a youth led peer-to-peer Anti- E-Cigarette/Vaping Campaign was created. The youth participating in this campaign were recruited through the after school club Young Researchers Community Project.
The youth participating in the counter marketing campaign conduct research on the health effects of e-cigarettes and vaping. They also meet with representatives from their local health departments for specific data on e-cigarette use in their communities. Youth peer-to-peer action research is conducted on how youth are accessing e-cigarettes, and the additional ways youth are using the delivery devices (such as delivery of illegal drugs)..
Following the action research phase, the youth created a variety of peer-to-peer counter marketing materials such as Public Service Announcements (PSAs), posters and memes. The anti-e-cigarette PSAs will be disseminated via televised morning announcements at the middle schools and high schools and viewed by youth in the health classes. Anti-e-cigarette PSAs and memes will also be disseminated via youth orientated social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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