Power of One: Student video reveals the horrors of smoking
Published Sunday, June 5, 2011 2:57PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 8, 2012 4:49PM EDT
MONTREAL- Erika Gelinas launched her drive towards a career in medicine not by practicing with a scalpel or textbook, but rather with a video editing program.
She has aimed at preventing cancer by creating a horror movie. But unlike most slasher flicks, this one was entirely real and aimed at inspiring awareness and well-being, rather than terrified screams and blood lust.
What started out as a class project at Collège Edouard-Montpetit has had a lot more impact than initially planned, as viewers have been recoiling in shock at scenes Gelinas has assembled revealing the damage that smoking does.
One scene shows a throat cancer victim forced by smoking to live with a hole in his throat. Another hears from a man who explains how cancer treatment made his mouth feel like it was being cut with razors.
If the images shocked her schoolmates, well all the better, says Gelinas, who is aged 18.
"I wanted to do something that would make a difference and make young teenagers change their mind about cigarettes and make them want to not begin smoking," she says.
Health specialists have applauded Gelinas' video showing the horrific realities of puffing butts.
They include Anthony George Zeitouni, a doctor at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
"We know that people who smoke die younger," he says. "On average they lose one or two decades of life compared to people who don't smoke."
Another supporter of the horrific reality flick is cancer patient Richard Fallis.
"In my generation everybody smoked. My parents smoked, my grandparents smoked, my grandmother taught me how to roll cigarettes. You know there's a price for that. We didn't know it but today we know it," he says.
Classmates who watched the video, at least the parts they didn't look away from in horror, strongly implied that the scenes would deter them from lighting up.
One classmate's reaction was typically emphatic.
"It makes me not want to smoke or even look at anybody who is doing it," said the viewer.