News release

Youth Show What They Are Doing When Not Smoking

Teens in Nova Scotia are singing, dancing, being active and creating art, instead of smoking.

The province continues to ensure youth who do not smoke never start by challenging the perception they have about how many of their peers actually smoke.

A creative online contest, part of the tobacco social marketing campaign, asked teens to show peers what the 85 per cent of youth are doing, while the other 15 per cent are smoking.

"We've had great success throughout the entire campaign, especially with our feature attraction, the nine-foot tall dinosaur monuments," said David Wilson, Minister of Health and Wellness. "The campaign engaged youth, challenged them to make the healthy choice, and showed them that hardly anyone smokes anymore."

Research shows that teens believe about 42 per cent of their peers smoke, when, in fact, it is only about 15 per cent. The campaign showed youth how archaic smoking is by using creative displays, humorous cinema ads, an interactive website, a Facebook page and a creative contest.

Grand prize winner, 15-year-old Liam Hearn from Richmond County, says he feels it is important to stay smoke-free because of the health problems it can cause.

"I entered hoping to make a difference, that if someone saw my video they would want to quit smoking, and if they didn't smoke, they might not want to start," he said.

The contest featured a $5,000 grand prize, and 20 secondary prizes of $250. The winners received gift certificates toward an interest or hobby of their choosing.

During the campaign, nine-foot-tall dinosaur-shaped monuments made out of ashtrays, and museum style display cases featuring outdated smoking-related items, were on display in more than 80 locations across the province.

Other campaign elements to engage youth included the website www.15andfalling.ca , cinema ads, a Youtube channel and Facebook.

To view the submissions, visit www.facebook.com/15andfalling and "like" the contest.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Teens in Nova Scotia are singing, dancing, taking part in physical activity and creating art, instead of smoking.

A creative online contest, as part of the tobacco social marketing campaign, asked teens to show peers what the 85 per cent of youth are doing, while the 15 per cent are smoking.

Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson says the campaign engaged youth, challenged them to make the healthy choice and showed them that hardly anyone smokes anymore.

Teens believe about 42 per cent of their peers smoke, when, in fact, it is only about 15 per cent.

The contest featured a grand prize of five-thousand dollars and 20 secondary prizes of two-hundred-fifty dollars.

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Media Contact:

Tony Kiritsis
Health and Wellness 902-424-0585 E-mail: