Wisconsin’s youth tobacco prevention program FACT create skits aimed to live a vape free life

FACT is Wisconsin’s youth tobacco prevention program for middle and high school students. In Fond du Lac County, Laura Nakielski, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Assistant, coordinates local FACT groups that engage and empower youth to lead the group and determine community initiatives, provide peer to peer advocacy, participate in media outreach, and meet with state and local leaders.

Fond du Lac County is fortunate to have three FACT groups at local school districts including, Fond du Lac High School, St. Mary Springs High School, and Ripon Middle
School. In an era where the tobacco industry targets youth to use e-cigarettes and develop harmful and addictive habits, the St. Mary Springs High School and Ripon Middle School FACT groups have taken action to send powerful messages to their peers.

FACT groups created skits for younger elementary students that promote a vape free lifestyle and empower peers with the knowledge to make healthy choices. The skits are important because according to the 2023 Fond du Lac Area Student Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs and Health Experiences and Attitudes Survey, one in ten students reported using an electronic vapor product in the past month.

When asked why they made their skits FACT students responded, “Because younger kids want to learn from their peers, we want to share the harmful effects vaping in a meaningful and fun way, which we hope is more impactful.”

FACT students also shared what they learned from making the skits, “Second hand smoke still happens when someone is vaping, most youth vape to cope with mental health struggles, and that there are lots of harmful ingredients like acetone (nail polish remover) in vapes.”

“We hope that our classmates have a better understanding of why vapes are bad for you, how vapes effect your body and that peer pressure is not a reason to start vaping. We want the younger students to be able to make healthy, informed choices about their health after watching these skits,” stated the combined FACT students.

“Peer to peer education is very impactful among adolescents. By encouraging youth to actively participate in their education and promote nicotine free lifestyles, we will in turn contribute to improving our communities’ health outcomes,” said Nakielski.

For more information, visit https://factmovement.org/ or contact the East Central Alliance for Nicotine Prevention at (920) 906-5537.