Youth art contest and digital showcase spotlights anti-tobacco messaging as teen vaping skyrockets

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JURUPA VALLEY – Riverside County Tobacco Control Project and Reach Out seek residents of Riverside County ages 11-20 to develop artwork that illustrates how vaping and use of tobacco products affect local communities. Winning entries will receive up to $50 and be featured in a countywide social media campaign.

By 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 17, interested young artists can create and submit original artwork on the theme “How Vaping and Other Tobacco Products Affect Our Community.”

Besides vaping, posters could also address such topics as secondhand smoke, flavored vaping products, advertisements targeting the 11-20 age group for vapes and vaping products and how prevalent vaping is in the artists’ social circles and community.

Although mixed media and digital artwork are welcome, the projects must be two-dimensional, no smaller than 8.5 inches by 11 inches and no larger than 22 inches by 28 inches. Students not creating their art digitally may use paper, canvas or other materials, but the finished product cannot be more than 1 inch deep. Photographs of the artwork or digitally created submissions should be sent to RivTobaccoArt@gmail.com.

Due to public health restrictions in place for COVID-19, the planned showcase will now be held digitally. Original artwork may be collected at a later date for exhibition in local art and governmental spaces.

All artists must also download, fill out and submit a consent form from https://rivcotcp.org/Campaigns/Youth-Arts-Contest. Artists younger than 18 should have their parents sign the consent form, and those ages 18 to 20 should sign it themselves.

Artwork can use any materials, such as pencils, paint, markers and colored or patterned paper. The projects must not contain gratuitous violence, sexually suggestive concepts or anything else that likely would be deemed offensive by certain groups. Artists also should not photocopy or trace other artist’s works.

Young people who use electronic cigarettes are four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes than their peers who do not vape, according to research published in the American Journal of Medicine. On top of that, e-cigarette use among young people has skyrocketed in recent years, jumping 78% among high schoolers between 2017 and 2018 alone, according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. Many of these teenage vapers had not smoked tobacco before starting use of e-cigarettes.

For more information, call Juanita Rios at (909) 245-1156.

Submitted by Riverside County Tobacco Control Project.