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#whyichoose campaign takes youth smoking prevention online

Posted on 9th Apr 2020

Youth Solutions launches online campaign to address harm from tobacco smoking

Charity and community services work may be looking a little different lately, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped Youth Solutions from forging ahead with a safe rollout of its #whyichoose campaign.

Launched this month, the #whyichoose campaign will be delivered entirely online by Youth Solutions and its Youth Advisory Group members, in a bid to reduce tobacco smoking-related harm in local young people aged 15 – 25 years.

The annual campaign will run until the end of June, during which time the Macarthur and Wingecarribee youth charity will be sharing key tobacco smoking information, facts and statistics via its website and social media channels, as well as important links to help and support services.

But perhaps most importantly, the campaign is hoping to garner input from local young people and community members; asking them to “join the conversation” and share their own social media content detailing the reasons why they choose not to smoke or to make safer choices in relation to tobacco smoking. The campaign will also involve a research aspect, asking young people to complete a short survey, which will help to provide data on localised smoking rates, practices and attitudes.

Youth Solutions Chief Executive Officer, Geraldine Dean, said she was proud the youth service was able to embrace innovative ways to continue delivering its important health promotion, education work and support services to the local community.

“I am very proud of my team and our volunteers for their flexibility and resourcefulness, during what is a difficult time,” Mrs Dean said. “Youth Solutions has been working really hard to shift many of our services online, where appropriate, including piloting the delivery of some of our health education programs via online methods.”

“The annual #whyichoose campaign traditionally sees our Youth Solutions team and youth volunteers heading out into the community to run stalls, visit schools and engage with people to spread the campaign message. But this year, in order to keep our team, volunteers and all of our community safe, we knew that we would need to move the entire rollout online.”

#whyichoose project lead Sam Young said: “It remains a fact that tobacco is the leading cause of disease and death in Australia. So while we must refrain from face-to-face work in order to keep our community and its most vulnerable members safe, we felt it was responsible to still rollout this campaign online, to do our part in preventing tobacco-related harm.”

“We are hoping our young people, and the wider community, will get behind this campaign by connecting with us on Instagram and Facebook, sharing the campaign messages, creating their own #whyichoose messages, or taking the campaign survey.”

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