A youth-led campaign Protect Youth Breath aims to address reducing youth vaping harm launches the Later Vaper Arcade in South Auckland.
Hāpai Te Hauora interim CEO Jason Alexander says, ‘The Later Vaper Arcade is an interactive way to engage with our rangatahi, to get their curious minds focusing on their Hā (breath) and help highlight the potential harms vaping can have on them and their peers".
The Later Vaper Arcade will be live during the September school holidays, from 23 September to 1 October. The harm reduction campaign moves from the digital into the physical world with the installation of the Later Vaper Arcade in Manukau Square. The arcade features a series of games that will take rangatahi on a journey to reflect on their well-being, play with the concept of breath, and receive suggestions and alternatives for coping with stress.
"We encourage our rangatahi and whānau to come and experience the Later Vaper Arcade" says Alexander.
Protect Your Breath launched in November 2022. The campaign is led by social change and creative agency Curative and developed with the Hā Collective - a crew of Māori and Pacific young people aged 16-20 - together with a steering group of experts and funded by Te Whatu Ora.
Leitu Tufuga National Tobacco Control Advocacy Service Lead says, "Whilst we have whānau who use vapes/e-cigarettes as a quit tool, we don’t encourage our rangatahi to take up vaping as it is harmful to lungs and other parts of our bodies. We want our rangatahi to thrive and be in tune with their surroundings so they can participate fully in life.
The Protect Your Breath campaign has evolved to include more direct health messaging, while continuing to use language that is familiar to young people, encouraging them to reflect on the sacredness of breath. With the guidance of The Hā Collective, the campaign avoids judgement and scare tactics; celebrates the things young people care about, their identities, and their language; and delivers easy-to-find, easy-to-share snackable health messaging in the places they already spend their time.
Alongside the launch of the Later Vaper Arcade, an audio series Connect to Hā has been released. Voiced by rangatahi, the series is all about the importance of hā (breath) and offers a moment to pause, connect to breath, and think about how hā is part of everything we do.
View the Protect Your Breath campaign here.