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Four Kootenay youth ‘Take a Breath’ and win poster contest

View all winning posters at

Interior Health has announced the four teens who won the health authority’s Take a Breath: Teen Voices on Tobacco and Vaping poster contest.

Each winner received a $150 gift card of their choice. The winning posters are being professionally printed, displayed in hospitals and health centres, and shared with schools throughout the region.

Meet the winners

Fourteen-year-old Salmo resident Ruby was one of the winning artists.

“I feel as though it is a real issue in modern day teen life and can be extremely addictive no matter who you are,” Ruby says. “There are so many disadvantages to smoking and vaping and it can be harmful to everyone’s life and body. It is ultimately your decision what you decide to do with your life, but don’t recommend vaping/smoking to anyone, even if you believe it’ll boost your popularity or confidence.”

Kailyn, 13, from Kitchener, a small community near Creston, focused on the importance of ceremonial tobacco for Indigenous traditions and how it differs from every day tobacco use.

“Please don’t start because it’s hard to stop and bad for your health,” Kailyn says, regarding commercial tobacco use and vaping.

Other winners include Charzhindawa (Chacha), 15, from Greenwood and Lukas, 14, also from Salmo.

Twelve-year-old artist Elizabeth from Kelowna received an honourable mention. She says: “It sucks to see people younger and older than me smoke and vape. I don’t understand why people do this to themselves.”

To view all winning posters and find tobacco and vaping information for teens, visit

“We want to thank everyone who took the time to submit an entry for this poster contest to help raise awareness and help people make informed decisions on this important health topic,” says Interior Health medical health officer Dr. Fatemeh Sabet. “Smoking tobacco and vaping have significant, proven negative impacts on our health. These posters by youth for youth provide important information about the health risks, and differences between commercial and traditional tobacco use.”

Read more: Interior Health invites young artists to ‘Take a Breath’

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