Nine teens involved in Bright Futures for Youth programs have written and recorded an original song and music video with a message about addiction and the dangers of cigarettes and vaping.
The song, Love and Dreams, is part of the Tobacco Use Prevention Campaign by the Nevada County Public Health Department.
Bright Futures for Youth partners with Nevada County to cover the costs for the project. It’s the second year that Bright Futures for Youth has participated in the program.
The teens – Eva Corbin, Aidan Haines, Noah Henson, Evan Jaco-Headley, Shane Malakian, Sam Ove, Elana Pedersen, Emerson Pondexter and Jamie Thomas Rose – recorded the song and later a video at Bright Futures for Youth. The almost five-minute video is available on YouTube.
The goal of the singer-songwriters is to educate youth in Nevada County – and everywhere else – about the health risks of smoking cigarettes and vaping, and the importance of breaking the “vicious cycle that addiction powers pain, and pain powers addiction.”
The music video also provides a hands-on experience for the students, Corbin said.
“I wanted to do the video to up my game in my music skills,” Corbin says. “Doing that video, brought up my confidence.”
And hopefully the song and video build the confidence of others to reject peer pressure to smoke or vape.
More than one of every six (17%) 11th-grade students in Nevada County had smoked an e-cigarette during the past 30 days, according to the 2021-22 California Healthy Kids Survey. The figure is five percentage points less than the previous report – and much lower than the 27% several years ago.
“We’ve had some success educating youth about the health risks of vaping, but our never-ending mission is to reduce access of these products and educate the public of the tactics being used to hook young people,” says Shannon Glaz, Nevada County Tobacco Health Education Coordinator. Songs and videos like Love and Dreams created by teens for teens are an important tool. Peer-to-peer efforts often have a greater effect on youth, said NEO co-founder and program director Halli Ellis-Edwards. NEO is a program of Bright Futures for Youth.
“The NEO singer-songwriters spent countless hours writing Love and Dreams and recording the video,” says Ellis-Edwards. “It’s the kind of creativity that connects with youth, educating them about the dangers of cigarettes and vaping – and how pain and addiction go hand in hand.”
Bright Futures for Youth’s program has a contract with Nevada County Public Health Department to educate youth about the harmful effect of tobacco on individuals and the environment. Last year, three teens involved in NEO wrote a song, Sunset Tears, and made a music video for the Tobacco Use Prevention campaign.
The Public Health Department works to create local policies that protect individuals from second-hand smoke, reduce youth access to tobacco and minimize tobacco advertising. It also engages youth in local schools and oversees tobacco prevention efforts.