Students, health advocates and educators across the nation are urging elected officials to take action to protect youth from the harmful effects of tobacco as part of the Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action held on April 1, 2021.
Take Down Tobacco Day (TDTD) is the signature platform of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which is designed to empower young people to stand up and speak out against the tobacco industry. The “Day of Action” is the culminating event for the year-long tobacco advocacy program.
Louisiana students, as part of the TDTD activities, participated the Next Era TDTD Video Contest sponsored by The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living (TFL). Participant videos focused on the dangers of vaping, tobacco use, nicotine addition, how to quit, and the negative impacts of tobacco and vaping in our State. The top three contest participants will be announced on the Next Era’s blog on Thursday, April 1st at 8AM and will receive stipends for first, second and third place.
“We are so proud of the advocacy work our students are doing across Louisiana to educate their peers, community leaders and lawmakers on the harmful impacts of vaping and tobacco products,” said Kenyatta Royal, Youth Engagement Sr. Coordinator for The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living. “Normally our students would be engaging with lawmakers at the State Capitol as part of our Take Down Tobacco Day of Action activities, however due to Covid-19, the video project will serve a similar purpose and will encourage students and lawmakers alike to take down big tobacco in Louisiana.”
According to the 2019 Youth Tobacco Survey data, vaping use among Louisiana middle school students almost doubled and almost tripled among high school students. In fact, 34.4% of Louisiana middle school students and 59.9% of high school students said that they have vaped and specifically reported trying JUUL products, an extremely popular e-cigarette manufacturer among youth.
“The proof is in the data,” said Royal. “Our youth are being targeted by tobacco companies as ‘replacement’ tobacco users with gateway products like vaping, flavors and hookah. Our work empowers both youth and community leaders to activate their voices and to speak out against the tobacco industry and encourage our lawmakers to protect them from the harmful effects of tobacco by strengthening public health policies.”
If you are interested in standing up and speaking out against tobacco and its impacts on our communities and our youth, visit We Are Next Era.org.
To learn more about Take Down Tobacco Day of Action click here.
To learn more about tobacco usage among youth and young adult populations in Louisiana click here.