Posted: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2012
Arizona Silver Belt
Phoenix — “Empower Pack,” a live theatre troupe of professional actors came to Copper Rim Elementary School on Thursday, Feb. 9 for their statewide tour.
The Empower Pack production is a collaboration between the Arizona Department of Health Services – Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease, Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity and Phoenix Theatre to target youth at or immediately prior to the age of initiation for tobacco use, ages 8-11.
The Empower Pack is a group of three super heroes from the future who come back to 2012 to empower the youth of today to make good decisions regarding nutrition, physical activity and not using tobacco. The trio’s nemesis, the foreboding “Addictor,” attempts to sway the youth to make bad choices that in-turn will lead to bad habits being passed down from generation to generation. This prompts the Empower Pack to travel back in time from their bleak future to save the youth of today which results in a better tomorrow for all.
Wayne Tormala, Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease says, “this live theatre is proving that interactive health discussions with youth are empowering and can lead to positive action – and have a great impact on individual lives.”
The partnership with Phoenix Theatre provided a script writer, chorographer, music composer, costume designer, and set production.
School teachers will be provided with a 16-page full color activity book that includes background information on nutrition including relatable serving size comparisons and recipes; additional information on physical activity and an audio CD of the show music. All statewide performances are provided free of charge.
The show was test piloted at 15 elementary schools in the Phoenix area. Performances ranged in size from 60 – 200 students per show
When asked what the students liked most, these were the responses… “Songs;” “Characters;” “Singing and dancing;” “School kids being a part of the show;” “It was funny.” Read the rest of this entry »
By Carolyn Calvin
WINDOW ROCK, Feb. 24, 2011
Taking a pinch, dip or sniff of tobacco may seem safer than smoking but according to health officials, it is just as dangerous.
“Tobacco companies sell us the myth that smokeless tobacco is harmless,” said Wayne Tormala, chief of the Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease. “All tobacco use is risky and may cause cancer as well as other diseases.”
In an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of smokeless tobacco, ADHS launched its own campaign, making Feb. 20-26 “Through with Chew” week.
Tormala visited the Navajo Times Tuesday, saying that this area has the highest rate of smokeless tobacco use in the state.
Tormala pointed out that, in response to declining cigarette sales and tougher anti-smoking laws around the country, tobacco companies are marketing smokeless tobacco, particularly chew, as the alternative to smoking.
To attract new customers – a priority in an industry where existing customers die much younger than the average person – the companies are developing products that appeal to entry-level users.
“Tobacco companies are offering candy-flavored smokeless tobacco products which are attractive to young people,” he noted.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, Apache County has the highest percentage of people – 10.68 percent of adults and youth – using chewing tobacco in Arizona.
Health officials think it’s tied to the cowboy lifestyle.
“People with outdoor lifestyles like rodeo tend to take chew more than other people,” Tormala said. “The tobacco industry heavily promotes its products to people who participate in rodeo.”
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