‘A life-saving message’: NEO partners with county on peer-led tobacco prevention campaign for youth | TheUnion.com

‘A life-saving message’: NEO partners with county on peer-led tobacco prevention campaign for youth

The Nevada County Tobacco Prevention Campaign and NEO, a program of local youth nonprofit Bright Futures for Youth, will be participating in Take Down Tobacco Day this Thursday.

According to Lynn Skrukrud, co-founder of New Events & Opportunities and youth outreach and events coordinator with Bright Futures for Youth, the organization will be sharing educational pieces on social media — as well as promoting “Sunset Tears,” a song and music video written and recorded by local teens Aidan Haines, Fawn Jackson, and Ella Lock.

“Three teenagers actively involved in NEO have written and recorded an original song and music video with a life-saving message — don’t vape or smoke cigarettes,” wrote Bright Futures for Youth Director of Development and Communications Cheryl Rubin in an email.

According to Rubin, the song is a part of the Rhythm & Beats Project, which NEO partners with the county to fund.

“(They) actually work with some really incredible recording artists, J Ross Parelli and Raza, who lead them through how to create a song and song structure, but they also teach them about tobacco and vaping, and the dangers of it,” said Skrukrud.

“So, it’s a really great learning process where the youth get to work with some amazing teachers, and then create a song.”

In past years, said Skrukrud, each of the youth involved created their own song for a competition with one another. This year, they collaborated on one song instead, a move she said was inspired by the participants’ desire to work together rather than compete.

Skrukrud said NEO has participated in the tobacco prevention program for the past four years.

“We’ve always been about prevention work and encouraging youth to make healthy lifestyle choices,” said Skrukrud. “But, over the last handful of years, as vaping and e-cigarettes have become more popular, we’ve seen a huge increase among youth use, so that definitely is a factor as to why we want to educate young people on the harms.”

She highlighted the importance of having “a peer-led campaign and message,” like this program, when it comes to effective youth outreach.

“It’s much more powerful when the message comes from a young person, so that’s really what this campaign is all about,“ she said.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com.


Take Down Tobacco Day, a national effort by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:


Local youth nonprofit Bright Futures for Youth:


Nevada County Tobacco Prevention:



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