Hip hop music, fun and advocacy. Now that’s what I call perfect combination to reach young people. International hip hop artist MIKE-E is having a unique tour this year. The AfroFlow Tour started last February 6 and will have its venue in about 20 college campuses all over the country. The tour will
will use spoken word and musical performances to raise awareness about and educate students on the health risks involved with tobacco use, encourage them to avoid tobacco products, and ask students to join the American Cancer Society in its efforts to combat smoking.
19% of college students smoke, according to statistics from the American Lung Association. And the younger one starts smoking, the higher is the risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.
The tobacco industry spends more than 13 billion dollar annually on adverstisements. And yes, that is inspite of the cigarette ad ban that’s been in place for years now. And these ads are targeting those who are old enough to smoke legally but young enough to be easily persuaded. A recent example is the move of Virginia Slims to become “pink” and “chic”, a new look which is appealing to young female adults.
Other recent strategies by tobacco companies are the use of water pipes also known as hookah or sishas. There is a big misconception that water pipes are much safer than cigarette smoking because the water moisture from the pipe makes the smoke less irritating. During the last years, there has been an increase in the number of hookah bar and lounges and many of them are coincidentally? located in the vicinity of college campuses. Tobacco use is a major health concern worldwide. According to the American Cancer Society:
- In the US alone, tobacco use causes one in every five deaths.
- It accounts for 30% of all cancer mortalities.
- It accounts for 87% of lung cancer deaths.
About the artist:
MIKE-E is an international Hip-hop and spoken word recording artist, actor, philanthropist and youth motivator. He was born in Ethiopia, where he supports orphan outreach and health care programs and maintains nationwide recognition with one of the country’s most popular hits “Ethiopia (Everything Will Be Alright).
This is not the first anti-tobacco tour for MIKE-E. A similar engagement was undertaken in 2007.
As artists, it is a privilege to match our music with a cause that is much greater than us. We’re proud to continue our work with an organization that is truly demonstrating its commitment to serve the community through education and awareness, and taking new, innovative approaches to doing so.