WASHINGTON (AFNS) --
The Air Force community is encouraged to kick off 2014 by voting online for the best anti-tobacco video in the Department of Defense-sponsored Fight the Enemy until March 14.
Five finalists have been selected for public voting, including two Air Force entrants. The contest videos capture the theme of tobacco use as the "enemy" that degrades health, fitness, work productivity and mission performance.
Voting is open to all through the contest's website, which will link individuals to the Military Health System's YouTube channel. To vote, people can click on the "Like" button for any of the five videos. The video with the most "Likes" will be declared the winner of the People's Choice Award. In separate judging, an expert panel will also be selecting contest winners.
"We invite everyone in the Air Force community: Airmen, civilians, contractors, family members, retirees, friends; to visit the site and vote for your favorite videos," said Col. (Dr.) John Oh, the Air Force Medical Support Agency chief of health promotion. "We've got some creative talent in DOD and these videos humorously and poignantly reinforce an important message that tobacco use is our military's enemy."
According to the 2011 Department of Defense survey of health related behaviors, 16.7 percent of active duty Airmen smokes cigarettes either some days or every day, which compares favorably to the DOD average of 24.0 percent and the civilian population average of 21.2 percent among those 18-65 years of age. On the other hand, smokeless tobacco use among Airmen at 13.3 percent, is well above the civilian adult prevalence of 2.7 percent.
"While the Air Force's tobacco use compares favorably to other services, there are some groups, particularly junior enlisted Airmen, with higher prevalence of tobacco use (and) in (where) tobacco use is more socially accepted," Oh said. "On average, young Airmen who quit smoking can get back the ten years of life they will otherwise lose to tobacco. Congratulations to all the contest entrants who are committed to being good wingmen to their peers."
Additional information on the Fight the Enemy contest including frequently asked questions, can be found on the contest website. Tobacco Free Living resources for the military community can be found at the Quit Tobacco—Make Everyone Proud website.
(Information courtesy of Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs)