BRUNSWICK, MECKLENBURG, & HALIFAX, VIRGINIA – An exciting, community wellness initiative is launching this September. The nonprofit community health organization Southside Behavioral Health will launch a virtual campaign “Kick the Nic.” This virtual challenge will encourage local youth and community members to move forward with healthier, more fulfilling lives by going nicotine-free and to share their experience with others over social media as they “Kick the Nic.”
According to the 2020 Community Needs Assessment conducted by the Virginia Tech Center for Public Health and Research, approximately 19.2% of high school students reported using e-cigarettes (electronic vapor) products within the last 30 days while approximately 3% reported using chewing tobacco or other dissolvable tobacco products. Additionally, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
For these reasons and more, Southside Behavioral Health and the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth are happy to be partnering together to implement a three-year plan to target youth nicotine prevention and awareness throughout Halifax, Brunswick, and Mecklenburg counties. This initiative is made possible through a $90,000 grant award from the Virginia Foundation of Healthy Youth. The campaigns included in this plan (funded by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth) will be coordinated by Southside Behavioral Health with assistance the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth as well as local county chambers.
“We want to educate and energize our local youth to take a stand against nicotine use,” said Southside Behavioral Health Prevention Manager Kenan Tyner-Smith. “We want them to feel like they have a voice and a choice within their local community to be healthy and happy without tobacco products.”
To participate in this challenge, log into your social media account over Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok and post either a video or picture of yourself “Kicking the Nic.” Remember to use the event hashtag #KickTheNic and to also challenge a friend.
About Southside Behavioral Health:
Established in 1972, Southside Behavioral Health provides behavioral health, developmental disability, substance use, and prevention services to the residents of Southside Virginia in Halifax, Mecklenburg, and Brunswick Counties. Southside Behavioral Health is committed to providing individualized culturally competent care in our communities, by supporting wellness and quality of life in a recovery-oriented environment and professional manner. Learn more at: southsidebh.org.
About the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth:
Established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1999, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth is responsible for statewide efforts to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use, childhood obesity, and substance use. Since the Foundation began its work in 2001, youth smoking in Virginia has been cut more than 75 percent! The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth directly reaches about 50,000 children each year through classroom-based prevention programs in public schools, after-school programs, community centers, daycares and other youth centers across the state. For more information about the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, please visit our website at http://www.vfhy.org/.