A casting call for a video to promote a smoke free Mason County will be held on Monday, Aug. 20.
According to Ellen Cartmell, with the Smoke-Free Partnership of Mason County, local volunteers are needed for a media campaign to spread the word about making Mason County smoke-free.
In order to be a part of the campaign, the interested parties must meet two requirements. They must be a resident of, or have spent time in, Mason County and believe in having an indoor smoke-free ordinance.
“Anyone who lives in Mason County or regularly works, studies, shops or dines here,” Cartmell said. “All ages and abilities are welcome. Current smokers, former smokers and never-smokers alike. As long as you think smoke-free indoor public places should be our future, you’re welcome. We want people of all types, not just kids and not just people who have never smoked.”
According to Cartmell, anyone under the age of 18 must have a signed consent form from a parent/guardian.
The casting call will be held at the Mason County Public Library parking lot from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 20. Other locations may also be used.
Cartmell said participants will be photographed to be used in advertisements and social media posts. The pictures and profiles will be reviewed and used to decide who will be chosen for the commercial.
“The commercial is being paid for through a competitive grant we (the Smoke-Free Partnership) received from the Kentucky Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program,” Cartmell said.
The smoke-free campaign has been a topic in Mason County for many years.
Recently, the partnership conducted a study and found that 67 percent of Mason County voters, who participated in the survey, were in favor of a smoking ban.
“We know from professional polling data that the majority of people in Mason County want the fiscal court to pass a smoke-free ordinance,” Cartmell said. “This project is to help put faces to that. We want to give those people a platform to be heard.”
Cartmell said the ordinance favored by residents would include public buildings, workplaces, bars and restaurants all smoke-free.
“This statistic is just one finding of a professional opinion poll that surveyed registered votes in Mason County in December 2017,” Cartmell said.
According to Cartmell, the survey results also found that 81 percent of voters consider second-hand smoke a health hazard as it causes nearly 50,000 deaths each year across the nation.
“Sixty-nine percent of respondents agree that a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance protects public health,” she said. “The results of the poll also show that majorities of smokers, former smokers and non-smokers all support the idea of a countywide smoke-free ordinance…with the strongest support coming from people between the ages of 18-24 and 25-34.”
Cartmell said anyone who is interested in showing support for a smoke-free ordinance can reach out to the Smoke-Free Partnership of Mason County, which is a branch of the Mason County Health Coalition.
The group has a Facebook page called the Smoke-Free Partnership of Mason County and uses the hashtag #SmokeFreeMasonCo, according to Cartmell.