Nova Scotia’s high school students will be better armed againsttobacco advertising thanks to You Choose — a tobacco educationresource for teachers and students. The resource was launchedtoday, Feb. 8, by the Office of Health Promotion. You Chooseencourages high school students to think critically about tobaccoindustry advertising. “Everyone knows tobacco use is harmful, yet many young peoplecontinue to smoke,” said Health Promotion Minister RodneyMacDonald. “School-based resources like You Choose are animportant part of our overall strategy to reduce tobacco useamong youth. “Protecting the health of Nova Scotians is a priority of thisgovernment,” said Education Minister Jamie Muir. “It is a sharedresponsibility among government, schools, communities, familiesand others — and, together, we can help students make the rightchoices for their health.” Tobacco advertising is very effective, and young people are aclear marketing target. You Choose is a series of media literacylessons designed to help students in grades 10-12 become moremedia savvy. The lessons encourage students to analyze differentforms of media, including television commercials and magazineadvertisements. They are based on tobacco industry advertisingand an ad video featuring 10 anti-tobacco advertisements fromaround the world. “Our goal is to encourage students to question the media messagesthey are exposed to, particularly from the tobacco industry,”said Nancy Hoddinott, manager of the provincial tobacco controlstrategy. “If they have the skills to analyze what they see andhear in the media, they will be able to make better choices whenit comes to tobacco use.” The You Choose high school resource is part of a larger publicawareness campaign to ensure the tobacco reduction messagereaches communities across the province and to reduce tobacco useamong all Nova Scotians. Other initiatives include print, radioand television advertisements, a workplace program and ayouth-targeted website (www.sickofsmoke.com). Nova Scotia’s tobacco control strategy, introduced in October2001, is a seven-part plan that focuses on: legislation andpolicy; tobacco pricing and taxation; treatment and cessation;monitoring and evaluation; community initiatives; school-basedprograms; and public awareness.