File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Alexis84

Be A ‘Heart Guy’ Not A ‘Dart Guy’

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit is using a growing trend over social media to their advantage.

The “AreUReady” Twitter page posted a tweet Wednesday morning, replacing “Dart Guy’s” cigarette with a party blower.

Youth Engagement Coordinator Jeff Moco says this presented itself as a fun opportunity to promote a smoke-free lifestyle.

“Internet memes kind of take over from nowhere,” he says. “As a health organization trying to prevent youth smoking, we know there’s many young men who really enjoy hockey and we want to put a fun health spin on stuff that’s kind of all over the news right now.”

As pointed out during a Chatham-Kent Board of Health meeting Wednesday morning, the number of tobacco users in Chatham-Kent is higher then the provincial average, so supporting the Smoke Free Ontario Strategy has been a major focus for the health unit.

“When we looked at Chatham-Kent’s issues with smoking we really see young adults, men in their 20s, as being a group that has the highest smoking rate compared to any other group,” he says. “Most people do want to quit and it’s on their radar.”

Raising awareness and providing help locally is only a couple of ways the health unit is looking to tackle tobacco usage.

The Chatham-Kent Board of Health will be supporting the “Tobacco Endgame for Canada.”

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit recently sent a letter to the minister of health to support the government’s goal of bringing tobacco use down 5% by 2035.

The proposed tobacco endgame highlights strategies on how to lessen tobacco use.

During Wednesday’s meeting, board member and Councillor Brock McGregor stated that they too should show support.

“Right now, [Chatham-Kent] still has above average [tobacco] usage compared to the rest of the province,” says McGregor. “So when we’re looking at any type of strategy that can be implemented to try and bring that usage rate down, that’s very important for health in our community.”

McGregor adds the urgency in bringing down tobacco use stems from the known health concerns it can cause.