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Health Unit offers $2 movie night for students

SIMCOE, ON, NOV. 27, 2008 – High school students in Norfolk County are being invited to a “One Night Stand” movie event this Thursday (Dec. 4) to demonstrate the link between movies and the hidden marketing tactics of the tobacco industry.

Tickets for the event, which takes place in the Simcoe Composite School gym from 8 p.m. to midnight, are only $2 – and that includes snacks and refreshments. The featured attraction is a screening of the popular new Batman flick, The Dark Knight. Tickets are available at county high schools and profits will go to the schools for future health-related activities.

The educational fun night out, entitled “One Night Stand – Against Tobacco and Drug Use in the Media,” is being sponsored by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s Youth Action Alliance, known as Fresh Heir. The student-led organization is dedicated to protecting youth in the community from using tobacco products.

The goal of the movie night is to raise awareness about how the tobacco industry targets youth through popular media and how drug and alcohol use in media have a negative impact on youth.

“Teens who see their favourite stars smoke on screen more than three times are 16 times more likely to consider smoking,” said student Lucas Lubin, a Fresh Heir peer leader.

The movie event will also include a video project and public service announcement, as well as clips made by Fresh Heir, the Health Unit and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Games and other activities will also be used to deliver the message. Students will have a chance to win prizes such as a digital camera, i-cube, gift certificates and DVDs.

“People are desensitized to the things they see in movies,” said Peer Leader Mandala Mitton. “Youth receive as much as 60 per cent of their exposure to tobacco imagery from films rated G, PG or PG-13. By seeing imagery of drugs, tobacco and alcohol use in the media, youth are being influenced and may not even know it. Many movies today make light of drug and alcohol use, making it seem cool or recreational, which is not the case at all.”

Fresh Heir hopes to influence students “to become more aware and more critical of what they see in the media, and to live a healthier, tobacco-free and substance-free lifestyle,” Mitton said.

Fresh Heir is always looking for volunteers to help in its efforts to “Clear Up Big Tobacco for this Generation and the Next.” To get involved or obtain more information about One Night Stand, you can contact the group at [email protected]or call the Health Unit at 519-426-6170 Ext. 3276.

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Media Contact:
Ashley Everets
Youth Advisor
Smoke Free Ontario Program
Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 Ext. 3276.