Jan 31, 2024 4:00pm

Advocating for a Cleaner, Healthier New Mexico

My name is Olivia Fowler and I am a senior at Portales High School. I have been in Evolvement for 3 years, and have been on the Leadership Team for 2 of those years. Advocacy has always been something I’m passionate about, whether that’s for better inclusion of the arts programs at school, stopping social injustices in our communities, or, in this case, advocating for better laws and policies for tobacco control in New Mexico. That’s what Evolvement aims to do, and one of the campaigns they partner with, No Minor Sale, helps them do that by advocating for the restriction of sales and distribution of flavored tobacco/nicotine products to minors. 

I’ve been a youth advocate with No Minor Sale for the past three years, and I’ve gotten to be a part of so many amazing experiences in that time. I’ve helped out with campaign events and tables at the Portales Peanut Valley Festival; and in February 2023, I was also able to speak on two radio stations in the Clovis area, 99.9 KTQM and 99.1 KCLV, with another Evolvement Leadership Team member, Katie Webb. We talked with the show host about the focus and goals of the No Minor Sale campaign, the dangers of flavored nicotine products, and the effects of starting vaping as early as middle school. In going on stations that many people listen to and attending community events, we are able to better reach the audiences we aim for, and educate them on the effects of these harmful products.

Vaping can be just as dangerous as smoking combustible cigarettes, and the fact that companies come up with fun flavors to entice the youth makes it even more of a threat. While this is a major problem within New Mexico, No Minor Sale is advocating for policy changes that will help to remedy this problem, such as flavor restriction. If we have a policy restricting flavored nicotine products, minors will hopefully see vaping as a less enticing activity and stop, or not start it in the first place. Since these youths are the future of New Mexico and the United States in general, the decisions they make with their health now can affect what happens to our country in the future. By educating the public about the dangers of these products early, we are advocating for a cleaner, healthier New Mexico.

Related Posts