By Vanessa Wolf
You know what they say: just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.
Tomorrow at 4:30 p.m . at UHMC, you can potentially prove yourself right when you check out a free screening of “Addiction Incorporated.”
This documentary tells “the true story of the tobacco companies’ commitment to addicting the human brain, and how the world came to know about it.”
The film is being shown as part of National Kick Butts Day: a day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. There will be a discussion panel to follow the film, as well as light refreshments.
We caught up with organizer Sonya Niess to ask her a few more questions.
Maui Now: Is The Coalition for Tobacco Free Hawaii associated with the college or a broader effort?
Sonya Niess: The Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii is an independent state-wide non-profit organization working to reduce tobacco use through education, policy and advocacy. We are small, with over 100 member organizations and 2,000 advocates (of which faculty and students of UHMC are a part of).
MN: What sort of services do you provide?
SN: We focus on comprehensive tobacco prevention and control efforts – mainly through community education, advocacy and policy work and acting as a resource to community partners and the community. We do not provide cessation but can link community members seeking to quit to the resources they need.
MN: Can you tell us little more about the film?
SN: This film has won critical acclaim for its riveting true story of the tobacco industry’s lies and attempts to silence the scientist who blew the whistle on the industry. The film shows footage of the scientist, Victor De Noble, testifying at the Congressional hearing where tobacco company executives were caught in their own web of lies. This is a strong and thought-provoking film that tobacco-prevention advocates find inspirational. The documentary, written and directed by Charles Evans, Jr., and executive produced by Charmaine Parcero, is a one hour and 20 minute fascinating look at the tobacco industry and its duplicity, as well as the heroes who proved their deception. We are showing this film as part of the National Kick Butts Day, which is a day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco.
MN: What’s the best advice you could give someone who is considering quitting smoking but is worried it will be too hard or that they can’t?
SN : The best advice I can give is to believe in their ability to quit. It is very hard to quit but make a commitment to quit, if not for yourself, than for someone you love. Everyone is affected by tobacco, especially those who care most about you.
MN: What kind of light refreshments?
SN: I’m not sure yet!
Get some free entertainment, get educated, and enjoy some mystery light refreshments tomorrow, March 20, at 4:30 p.m. in the UHMC Pilina Building Student Lounge. Attendees are encouraged to arrive by 4:15 p.m as the film will begin promptly at 4:30 p.m.
Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (@mauinow.com)