The Defense Department is calling all teen video producers to pull out their cameras and microphones to help “Fight the Enemy.” The enemy is tobacco: 90 percent of smokers begin before age 18, and e-cigarette use in teenagers tripled between 2013 and 2014. Teens 13-18 years old are invited to enter the Fight the Enemy contest by creating short videos that encourage audiences to “see through the smoke”: advocating against tobacco and thinking skeptically about e-cigarettes. To learn more about the “Fight the Enemy” contest and submit videos, visit www.health.mil/fighttheenemy.
Fight the Enemy is sponsored by Operation Live Well, the DOD’s long-term healthy living initiative informed by Total Force Fitness, DOD’s framework for building and maintaining health, readiness, and performance. OLW also supports the National Prevention Strategy of improving America’s health and wellness through prevention.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco products, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States, contributing to more than 480,000 deaths each year.
“We know that teens in the Defense community are dealing with stresses that many of their civilian peers are not, and that makes them even more susceptible to the pressures of trying tobacco or using e-cigarettes as a perceived safer alternative to tobacco,” said Capt. Kimberly Elenberg, Program manager for the Defense Health Agency’s population health program. “We hope the Fight the Enemy video contest will increase awareness about the dangers of tobacco and prevent teenagers from using it, including smokeless products and e-cigarettes.”
The contest runs through Oct. 31 and is open to teenagers related to a DOD civilian or Service member working or living at an Air Force, Army, Marine or Navy installation; Coast Guard and Reserve teenagers are also welcome to apply. Winners will be announced on Nov. 19 online and at the Great American Smokeout event sponsored by Defense Health Agency.