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Public invited to Port Dover and Turkey Point beach events – Don’t Be a Target campaign aims at smoking scenes in movies

SIMCOE, ON, JULY 30, 2009 – The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit will be holding fun events at Port Dover and Turkey Point beaches on the weekend of Aug. 8 and 9 to highlight the dangers of watching movies with smoking scenes.

“The Don’t Be a Target Campaign aims to let youth and parents know that by watching smoking in movies youth are increasing their chances of becoming smokers,” said Michelle Alvey, Tobacco Use Prevention Health Promoter. “We would like to encourage area youth and their parents to come and learn more in a fun atmosphere. We have free human hamster ball racing, trivia games and prizes.”

The action will take place at Port Dover beach Aug. 8 from 12 to 4 p.m. and at Turkey Point beach on Aug. 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Organizers will be easy to spot as they will be sporting yellow t-shirts with red and white targets.

On June 1, the World Health Organization released a report about the causal relationship between smoking scenes in movies and youth smoking.

“We know that approximately 75 per cent of PG-13 movies, movies that are marketed towards youth, have smoking scenes in them. Combine this statistic with the evidence that youth who see smoking in movies are more likely to start and you have a pretty fatal result,” Alvey said. “Unfortunately, young people are exposed to smoking scenes in movies every day. Land of the Lost, and Angels and Demons are a few of recently released PG-13 movies that feature smoking.”

When youth see their favourite celebrity smoking on the big screen, they are 16 times more likely to have positive attitudes about smoking in the future, Alvey points out.

“In fact, movies with smoking have a greater impact than cigarette advertisements. A number of A-listers have smoked on the big screen, such as Cameron Diaz in Charlie’s Angels, Brad Pitt in Fight Club, Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding, Jim Carrey in The Mask and even the Aliens in Men in Black 2.”

Members of Fresh Heir, the Health Unit’s Youth Action Alliance, will also be at the event to inform their peers on how the tobacco industry targets them with the use of tobacco products in media.

“It should be a fun day at the beach for families, and hopefully the youth will learn to be a bit more media savvy, too.” said Peer Leader Daina Atkinson. “Tobacco scenes in the movies are a major contributing factor for 52 per cent of adolescents who start smoking.”

For more information, and to learn how you can make a difference, visit the campaign website at or contact the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170 Ext. 3248 or 905-318-6623 Ext. 3248.

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Tobacco Use Prevention Health Promoter Michelle Alvey tests out one of thehuman hamster balls that will be available when the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit hosts fun eventsat Port Dover andTurkey Point beaches on the weekend of Aug. 8 and 9 to highlight the causalrelationship between youth smoking and smoking scenes in movies. Alvey is also sporting one of theyellow, target t-shirts organizers will be wearing.





Also find attached a poster/flyer promoting the Don’t Be a Target campaign.

Media contact:
Michelle Alvey, Health Promoter
Tobacco Use Prevention
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 Ext. 3248 or 905-318-6623 Ext. 3248
[email protected]