Michigan high schoolers tackle vaping through public service announcements

The Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, announced the winners of a statewide contest encouraging high school students to create public service announcements that discourage tobacco use through vaping at Monday’s Michigan Association of Broadcasters Michigan Student Broadcast Awards Luncheon & Career Fair.

"As an Association that supports the work of Secondary School Principals, we hear continuously from our members that vaping is a huge problem," said Wendy Zdeb, MASSP Executive Director. "Many schools have consequences for students who are found to be vaping at school but we realize prevention is the best answer." 

"Our hope is that this contest will grow and we will be able to share student-made PSA's statewide to help students as young as elementary school learn about the dangers of vaping. As administrators we recognize elevating student voice and helping peers to influence each other is a valuable tool in combating this epidemic."

The National Youth Tobacco Survey indicates that while vaping has decreased over the last couple of years, 1 in 4 students still use e-cigarettes daily. Data from Truth Initiative suggests that 82.9% of teens use e-cigarettes over other forms of tobacco and that those "vapes" have at least two times the nicotine as similar devices sold outside the United States.

The contest challenged students across the state to develop engaging audio or video PSAs, no longer than 60 seconds, that raise awareness about the dangers of vaping among their peers. Entries were judged on creativity, effectiveness and production value. Winners and runners up will have their work shared statewide by MDHHS and MASSP. 

"We are incredibly impressed by the creativity and dedication students displayed in their PSAs," said Tom Lietz, MASSP Associate Director. "These powerful messages demonstrate that when provided the opportunity, student broadcasters can create impactful productions that can make a difference."

The Student Broadcast Awards Luncheon & Career Fair, held at the Crowne Plaza in Lansing, on March 18, featured high school and college broadcasting students as well as professionals from the field. 

"Preventing tobacco usage takes a comprehensive approach, and we congratulate these students for their participation and engagement in tobacco prevention messaging," said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan. "Hearing about the dangers of vaping and tobacco use from peers is an important tactic in both engaging youth and sharing trusted information."

Top Three Winners in Video Category 

  1. Victor the Vape, Rockford High School, Beyond the Rock, Emma Lombard, Hudson Timmer, Sam VerMerrishttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_rS8IoCwcw 
  2. Not too Late to Quit, Rockford High School, Beyond the Rock, Gretchen McCay, Cristal Nink, Madden Warner, Danielle Wheelerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSLaxADDW2E 
  3. Drop the Vape, Rockford High School, Beyond the Rock, Credit(s): Anna Austin, Ellie Pursiful, Sam VerMerris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WXdwPipWYk 

Top Three Winners in Audio Category 

  1. 2023 Vape, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools 88.1 The Park, Jaya Choudhary, Lucas Gentilia, Jonah Kibin, Akshayapriya Saravananhttps://soundcloud.com/bill-keith-339703449/2023-mab-vape-mdhhs-psa-akshayapriya-lucas-jaya-jonah 
  2. Vaping, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools 88.1 The Park, Nadia Halim, Chae Eun Park, Sydney Viloriahttps://soundcloud.com/bill-keith-339703449/mab-vape-psa-final-copy-sydney-v-chae-eun-nadia 

Vape, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools 88.1 The Park, Colin Bradlee, Carter Johnson, Lola Makanjuola, Elise Taylor 

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