Month: February 2014

Electronic Cigarettes – Seeing through the vape screen.

So in the activism world there has been a lot of focus on Electronic Vaping Devices for the last year because of how fast their popularity has grown amongst young people. They are literally everywhere now and last year they were limited to being purchased online for a hefty price. When the industry released the idea of “vaping” there was talk about how these new products were going to be a faster way for people to get addicted to nicotine and transition into a tobacco addiction. However, today that is not the case; young people are purchasing these products because of their aesthetic appeal, low price, flavoring, promise of a healthy alternative to tobacco, a right to freedom by using them everywhere without restricting smoke free laws and the liberty to decide the amount of nicotine in their device.

These products are a huge concern because they are not regulated and they are available to young people. Not to mention that nicotine delivery devices are being marketed the exact same way that tobacco was in the 50’s and 60’s. The tobacco industry is up to its old tricks and props to them for finding this big loophole in the policies that have controlled their actions in the past.

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For example: the industry has always been known for their advertising and aesthetic appeal that they have used to market their products. These new products are no different and with the incorporation of technology there is no limit to what they will come up with. Pictured on the left is the latest e-cig on the market that features bluetooth technology to connect to the users cell phone and play music, obviously targeting a young audience.

The industry is known for selling their products at a cheap price to appeal to a younger audience and fighting tax increases, as these products become more popular they are also becoming cheaper and more accessible to youth. Most young people that are getting access to these vaping devices are using the internet because there is no way to confirm that they are 18.

So, by now you are probably wondering why nicotine is such a big issue if it is not tobacco. Well, nicotine is the addictive component of tobacco that is also proven to be harmful on the heart and cause cancer. Honestly, we all know that tobacco is bad and, with increased regulations on the industry that are being implemented by legislature, every year less and less people are using tobacco products. With these new nicotine delivery devices there is no regulation and the number of people using and getting addicted to nicotine is on a steady rise, which means that the number of people affected by the health effects from nicotine is also on a rise. The biggest question that I have about these new devices is: “What will happen long term?” The answer is that no one knows because of how new vaping devices are.

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Recently the government, through FDA regulation, made all flavoring in tobacco products (except menthol) illegal because it appealed to youth. Since these new products are not tobacco products and are not regulated they do containflavoring and youth are highly attracted to the varieties that they canchoose from. Yet another way the industry is doing the exact same thing that they have done in the past.

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Before the world understood how bad tobacco is the industry promoted the idea that their products were healthy and that they were endorsed by doctors. Everyone believed that tobacco was a medicine and that it would lead to a long prosperous life. This mentality did not change until US Surgeon General Dr. Luther Terry released the first Surgeon Generals Report linking tobacco use to cancer 50 years ago. So 50 years later what have we learned? Obviously not a lot because they are marketing these new products as a health device, as healthier than tobacco and even as cessation devices, they are getting endorsed by doctors who use them in their practice to help people “quit” tobacco and use only nicotine because its “healthy”. Seriously, why should we believe them? There is no definitive proof that these products are safer or healthier like they are marketing them to be.

As well, the industry markets these products as a way for us to take back our rights and liberties that have been taken away by smoke-free indoor air laws, which were enacted to secure the health and lives of millions of people. The industry does not care about your liberties or rights because they knowingly take away your right to life by selling and marketing a product that when used as directed kills. Even worse is that they want their users addiction to affect everyone around them. No one was born a smoker, it is something that is learned and taught by the industry, so there for it is not someones right to smoke. As far as second hand vapor being safer than second hand smoke, there is no evidence to prove that it is safer, it is easy to assume that it is by the nature of the vapor compared to smoke, but there is  now proven health risks with being exposed to second hand nicotine vapor from an E-Cig. Dr. Valerie Yerger from the Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education at UCSF said that through recent research they have found “fiberglass and particulates in the vapor”. There has also been a recent study done by UCSF for the World Health Organization on Electronic Cigarettes that highlights the findings from these recent studies. Link to study: http://arizonansconcernedaboutsmoking.com/201312e-cig_report.pdf

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And lastly, the advertising of these new products is appalling to say the least. They have zero regulation when it comes to what they can do to reach youth and get them using these products. The ads for E-Cigs are everywhere! six flags, malls, grocery/convenience/gas station stores, TV, Radio, Online, Social Media, Video Games, Magazines, News Papers, Sporting Events, etc. Literally they are everywhere that it is illegal for the industry to put tobacco ads, because they know that these key ad spots are where youth are most likely to see them. They glorify this idea of vaping and use celebrities to endorse their products. The celebrities don’t even have to be in an E-Cig commercial, they can just be vaping in the audience during the Grammys or VMAs and everyone will know about it. This industry is not stupid, they know what they are doing and they are the experts at manipulating youth into buying their deadly products.

In conclusion, the industry has found a way to change the game with tobacco use and we, as activists, need to fight back against these new products by continuing to progress legislation that restricts the advertising and sale of these products to minors as well as regulates them like tobacco is now being regulated by the FDA. We have to be the first people to get to the youth when it comes to educating them about these products so that they don’t hear the rumored “benefits” from using these products compared to tobacco. This is still a drug like tobacco, it is still addictive and it still kills people.

Want to make an app?

For my Fundamental Digital Online Media class we had to design an app that goes along with our blog theme. So, going along with the idea of activism I designed an app that helps people network with each other by putting your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile on a virtual map by your location relative to your place of business, home or just city. When on the app you can connect with other people that you know or meet and add them to your network map. Then whenever you travel to another city to work on activism you can log into this app and view your network map to see who is in that city that you have connected with before. I believe that this concept can be used in other areas, outside of activism, as well. To go along with my concept I designed a few mock designs on proto.io of what two screens from the app will look like.

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The Ideas and Concepts in this post are my own and I claim rights to them, they should not be copied or claimed by another individual or party. – Darrien Skinner 🙂

The Incredible Activism of Younger Generations Will Make You A Lot Less Depressed About the Future

Great post with some incite into the current trends of youth in activism and how young people are changing the world.

2012 The Awakening

Students and youth have the power to create the kind of future they want to live in.

 

In recent weeks, we have had the privilege of hearing from and seeing a number of impressive young people in action. We want to highlight some of the issues that are spurring youth to get active in their communities and what they are doing about them.

Young people are yearning to understand the world, even when the truth is horrible, so that they can change it for the better. Mary Elizabeth Williams writes in Salon: “They’re questioning and curious and skeptical and intensely philosophical. They want to make sense of the world and reasons people do the things they do. They have amazing ideas, ideas that are too often wrung out of them by a school culture increasingly devoted…

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Youth Engagement in Change: From the Summit on the 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Tobacco Report

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50 years ago, US Surgeon General Luther L. Terry wrote the first Surgeon General’s report linking smoking to cancer.

Read Surgeon General Terry’s Report Here: http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/retrieve/Narrative/NN/p-nid/60

1069157_618847054837883_504654682_nIn honor of the historic 50 year milestone there was a summit held in New Orleans, Louisiana last week that was broadcasted live on the internet for people to view all around the world. The summit was a series of panel discussions featuring some of the leaders in the fight against big tobacco, including all living former US Surgeon Generals. I had the honor of being on the youth panel at the event that highlighted the importance of youth in promoting change in tobacco prevention initiatives and discussing the new FDA youth campaign The Real Cost that will soon be featured around the country and will directly target youth 12-17 and CVS’ decision to remove tobacco products from all of their stores. Overall the event was really amazing because of the people that were a part of it, but the best, and most rewarding, part was being able to tell the world that youth are the leaders of the change that we are seeing in society today.  

Whether or not the “adult world” wants to realize it, youth are the professionals in this generation. We have mastered the art of social media and we use it more than anyone else to spread our message and promote change that we support. If you want to successfully promote change then connect with a young person and give them the resources that they need to effectively use their voice in society. For a lot of adults that work in social change work this can be very scary because their job is on the line and they are trusting a young person. However, if adults would show young people that they trust them to do their work then they will do it with passion and the adult will find that giving a young person their voice in society is more rewarding than any amount of money. The truth is that young people listen to their peers in society more than they listen to adults. So why not recruit youth to lead change in society?

If you work in any form of activism then I would prompt you to include youth in all of your efforts and teach them how to do use their voice to promote change and lead the change. Also, please take some time to watch the summit (it is an entire days event so watching all of it at once is rather unreasonable but each panel is 30 minutes – 1 hour long and I have mentioned them below, in order, with a brief summary of the discussion topics) and pass it along to your colleagues.

There were six other panels at the event and they were all very informative about the current state of tobacco control. The entire summit is still online and can be viewed at: http://tobaccosummit.com/live.html

First panel: Conversations with U.S. Surgeons General – Reviewing the impact of the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, reflecting on efforts of Surgeons Generals since the groundbreaking report and discussing where do we go from here to have a tobacco-free generations.
Second panel: Next Tobacco-Free Generation – Young anti-tobacco leaders have a conversation about what they are doing to reach a tobacco-free generation with examples of campaigns that work and new public service announcements directed to young people.
Third panel: Sons of Our Father – The sons of Dr. Luther Terry an Dr. Alton Ochsner, two pioneers against smoking and the hazards of tobacco use, reflect on the life and legacy of their fathers.
Fourth panel: Litigation, Legislation or Regulation – What impact on public health has litigation, legislation and regulations had and will have.
Fifth panel: Media and the Tobacco-Free Generation – A discussion on media’s role and its influence on young people in the past, present and future.
Sixth panel: Marketing and New Products – Defy students from Lake Charles, Louisiana, will perform a skit centered around how tobacco is marketed to youth and what they plan to do about it.
Seventh panel: What’s Working – An overview of efforts that have succeeded in increasing awareness about tobacco’s harm to individual health and why prevention works.

Summit of Change

With the limited wifi that I have I am writing this blog post.

I am currently at Prude Ranch in Fort Davis, TX. It is literally the middle of no-where between Midland and El Paso. After driving 9 hours to get here and sacrificing my online social life by not having service, I have to say it is all worth it because I get to change lives.

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I have worked in tobacco prevention with the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) for 3 years now and it is one of the most rewarding things I get to do. I get to travel around the state with the TxSSC and the SAY WHAT! initiative to teach youth about tobacco prevention and how to get their schools and communities involved in the change. These youth come so motivated and wanting to change the world and they absorb everything that we teach them. But ultimately they inspire me and keep me motivated to make the change!

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With 67 Texans dying everyday from their own tobacco use and tobacco use being the number 1 cause of preventable death in the world, it is obvious that this is a huge issue and has already negatively affected every single one of us in some way. However, if we imagine a world without tobacco it is a better place. This is why I am passionate about this work and I put so much time into it.

I am an Activist because there is a need for new Activists. The most rewarding part of being an activist is helping other people become activists! Especially youth activists!

Youth are the now and they are the future. We are changing the world and we promise that we will continue to change the world.

Hello, you beautiful people!

Love this! Empower Yourself before you empower others! Be the Change!

MiscEvelyn

I tend to find the beauty in everything; whether it be scenic, physical, inner, or emotional. In this blog it will all somehow relate to that. I will explore anything from makeup to landscapes. I will speak of beautiful people making a difference in the world, breathtaking locations, and inspiring faith. Everyone is welcome and I hope to brighten someone’s day with each post.
kandee
Being a college student, I have personal experiences and can offer advice on certain topics. For makeup I will list my favorite essentials that are affordable, easy to get, and help you feel pretty and confident. For the body I will list workout routines that I have done and proven to be effective to have a beautiful body. For a lovely mind I will post inspirational works and motivational people who have helped me along my endeavors. I hope you enjoy my blog and stick around for…

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