by e.shor Promising Practices Conference New Orleans, LA
Hay Network Hay!
This is e.shor writing from Promising Practices 2012 in New Orleans! What a treat to be at this conference in such a lively and fun city. This conference is all about working in communities and practices that have worked for tobacco control and public health folks in the field. There is a lot of good energy and sharing of knowledge here!
I coordinate a young-adult, LGBTQ tobacco-control campaign called SHIFT Minnesota. I am at this conference because SHIFT is trying to cover a lot of ground in our social media and policy work, and we are always looking to mentors and other tobacco-control experts for their wisdom and knowledge.
Some promising practices that I can offer are:
- Listen to young people…they hold so much energy and knowledge and are the heart and soul of SHIFT.
- Embrace color and BIG ideas! Part of tobacco-control is selling it as an important issue that people should care about…so add some pizzazz to your campaigns!
- Pitch tobacco-control as a SOCIAL JUSTICE issue…people have heard since the 1970s that tobacco use is bad for their health. Tell them how the industry is targeting them to make a profit. Tell them that BIG TOBACCO is after young people. Make it personal.
I have so much left to learn about tobacco-control, but one final promising practice that I want to share with you all is: ENGAGE CURRENT TOBACCO USERS IN THE MOVEMENT. I have heard from so many people in LGBTQ communities that they don’t like tobacco control because they feel judged or that they are unwelcome in this movement because they are smokers. Welcoming current tobacco users with open arms into our work is so essential because they can be tobacco-control’s strongest allies. The CDC recently released the Tips from Former Smokers as way to highlight some experiences, I am excited to see the “Tips from Current Smokers” as a way to highlight the struggles of quitting and some of the challenges faced on that journey as well (note: “Tips from Current Smokers” is not a real campaign, just an idea!).
Hope you are well,