Red Medicine Tobacco Prevention Project and Bakersfield American Indian Health Project Partner to Reach Native Youth
February 6, 2021
On a sunny Saturday in February, the Red Medicine Tobacco Prevention Project joined Bakersfield American Indian Health Project’s “Pop on Thru Event for Our Native Community” to reach out to our American Indian community and share information about the harm of commercial tobacco and vaping. The event was supported by half a dozen community partner organizations who provided community members with materials, brief educational sessions, and giveaways related to healthy activities, all while driving through in their cars. Plenty of smiles and laughter was there as community members received the supplies and information, while participating in a COVID-19 safe community activity.
The Red Medicine team included Johnny Delgado and Evelyn Eterno from the Bakersfield American Indian Health Project and Jackie Kaslow, Red Medicine Project Director. Also participating in the event was the Kern County Hotline, who joined us in assembling goody bags with valentine themed candy, smoking/ vaping prevention materials, and quit smoking resources such as offers of free nicotine patches from the California Smokers’ Helpline.
The Red Medicine team members engaged in one on one discussions with vehicle occupants providing education on the harmful effects of vaping. Big Tobacco companies lure youth in to vaping with a “kids’ menu” of flavored juices…. literally thousands of candy and sweet flavors that are meant to appeal to youth and get kids hooked.
The Red Medicine Tobacco Prevention Project is dedicated to preventing our youth from using these products through education and events like this. We talked to families about the myths around vaping and electronic smoking devices, nicotine content, the chemicals in the vaping juices, stats on youth use, and risks for youth addiction.
Vaping among youth is on the rise. The Surgeon General of the United States declared a youth vaping epidemic in 2018. Our goal is to help Native youth be commercial tobacco free and to understand the difference between traditional tobacco and commercial tobacco. #decolonizecatobacco
Commercial tobacco is not a Native tradition. Leave it alone.