Anti-vaping video contest for teens

Winner gets $2000 and helps educate others about the dangers of vaping
Posted at 7:59 AM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 09:59:28-04

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Public TV is using a grant from the Millenium Fund to create an anti-vape video contest for teens. The deadline to enter is April 15. The idea is to create a message from teens to teens urging them to never try vape.

  • An estimated one in five Idaho students vape, with some starting as early as elementary school.
  • Vaping is not included in the state's tobacco settlement, so sales of vape do not add to tobacco companies' penalties.
  • Vape comes in thousands of flavors many of which target youth.
  • Disposable vapes can be purchased for as little as $5 and provide thousands of puffs per unit.
  • The nicotine levels in many vape products are considered extreme by many health professionals and heighten addiction.
  • Health Department officials say many vape users eventually return to use cigarettes.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

The shadowy world of vape is slowly coming into focus. What once was thought of as a possibly less harmful way to wean off cigarettes, is now seen as a full on threat to a new generation.

“You can talk to any pulmonologist any respiratory therapist and they’ll tell you they’re having kids come in with cases of EVALI — which is e-cigarette vaping associated lung injury. And basically what that does is prevents them from being able to expand and contract their lungs,” said Kati Chauvin, health policy analyst at Central District Health.

And Central Health says that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Vape is hugely addictive and many of the chemicals it contains are known carcinogens. So when the Millennium Fund, which gets its money from the tobacco settlement came to Idaho Public TV to educate the public, Jennie Sue Weltner was fully on board.

“I had no idea and until I got the project what was going on and then I became really angry, and that is really motivating to me. Especially when you combine kids with the predatory practices of the vaping companies is shameful and people need to be aware of what they’re doing,” said Weltner.

Besides creating a documentary, IPTV also created a contest for kids to create anti-vape videos.

“There’s nothing more powerful than peer to peer communication,” said Weltner.

The $2000 in prize money got Eli Richey to get creative… and he won.

“I just had the idea to do a rap song about vaping, make a music video for that and then it all came together,” said Richey.

Weltner says just getting kids involved makes a difference.

"It encourages kids to research the truth about vaping and understand the lies that they’ve been told," she said.

The latest contest has been extended to April 15th. The rules are available at and you don’t have to Stephen Spielberg to win.

"It’s the concepts we’re looking for primarily. Sometimes it’s a just a simple concept that we go oh my gosh that’s how you talk to kids about vaping, so we encourage kids to turn in what they have for a chance to not only win money, but also to make a difference,” said Weltner.