Campaign Seeks Arizona Teens for Documentary on Addictive Behaviors




Christina Borrego, (602) 721-5779

Campaign Seeks Arizona Teens for Documentary on Addictive Behaviors

Film will explore preoccupation with texting, social media and perils of nicotine addiction

Phoenix, Ariz.—May 7, 2012—Arizona’s anti-smoking youth campaign, Venomocity Brought to You by Addiction announces a search for Arizona teens to participate in Addicteen, a documentary about addiction.  The film will examine activities which teenagers have defined as being addictive including, texting, social media and the use of tobacco. Filmmakers seek to draw out the similarities, differences and impacts of these behaviors on the lives of today’s youth.

Arizona teens willing to give up such activities for ten days while being followed by a camera crew around-the-clock should visit the Venomocity Facebook page starting today to learn more about the documentary. Through the eyes of the selected teens, filmmakers seek to further answer the question: What is addiction?

“When we ask youth to describe addiction they often point to their cell phone and say that they’re ‘addicted’ to texting or they reference social media,” said Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau Chief for Tobacco and Chronic Disease Wayne Tormala. “There is truth to their perception because addiction is defined as an extreme preoccupation with a certain activity. However, our documentary will enter into an examination of nicotine dependence along side these routine teen activities because kids relate them to addiction.”

Nicotine is highly addictive, fewer than 5 percent of smokers who try to quit on their own achieve abstinence for six to 12 months. With support, the average smoker will make as many as seven attempts to quit before achieving success.

To be considered for the documentary, teenagers must be between 16 and 18 years old.  After signing up online, filmmakers will invite selected teens to participate in an audition on Saturday, May 19 at 1 p.m. to be held at locations across the state including, Tucson, Flagstaff, East Phoenix and West Phoenix.

Teens are also playing a role in the production of the documentary. Students from South Mountain High School will participate in the creation of AddictTeen. One of their first assignments was to create a public service announcement to recruit teens for the film. It can be viewed on the Venomocity Facebook page. After the auditions, students will be paired with local filmmakers through the 10-day production that will capture the real-life stories of youth addiction.

When it comes to nicotine addiction, research shows that people who start smoking young are more likely to have a long-term addiction than those who start smoking later in life. Nationally, approximately 4.5 million adolescents age 12 to 18 in the United States are smokers. Arizona is slightly above the national average when it comes to adolescent smokers with rates at 19.8 percent. Eighty percent of adult smokers picked up their first cigarette as a teenager.

Addiction is both a psychological and physical problem. The health impacts of teens that smoke when compared to those who don’t smoke include more prevalence to illnesses, smaller lungs and weaker hearts. Some research indicates that teen smokers are more likely to use alcohol and other drugs.

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