Aug 23, 2022 6:00pm

Advocating to Create a Healthier Future for New Mexican Youth

Hello, my name is Stephanie and I attend Mora High School. I've been in Evolvement going on two years now. Well, you're probably wondering what that is. Evolvement is a youth led movement in New Mexico to educate on the dangers of tobacco products. This year, I joined the leadership team and it's been a fun and amazing experience. We collect surveys and have 2 campaigns we work on through Evolvement. One campaign is No Minor Sale, through which we work to stop the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors. 

I'm sure you are all aware of the dangers of tobacco products but did you know that 80% of tobacco users started with a flavored product? These products can be highly addictive and youth around the world are appealed to them. So, what's so bad about that? Well, for starters it's going to take so much away from you. Your health will diminish over time. Tobacco use can take away a chance at a healthy life and is also the leading cause of preventable death. In fact, it's so much in the lead that if you were to combine other top leading causes of preventable death, tobacco use would still be at the top! I mean do we really want non-functioning lungs or our teeth falling out? 

I believe we can make a change for a better future. To make this possible, my team and I have met with legislators of our state. We showed them statistics and informed them of the dangers flavored tobacco products have on youth in hopes of getting them to favor our campaign. I've collected opinion surveys on tobacco flavored products as most people agreed to take the survey because they supported the idea while other people agreed to take the survey as they wanted to be nice. Either way, we have been able to use their opinions to help our case. 

I think others should feel this is important because we should want what's best for us and our future. Minors should not be able to get their hands on these dangerous products as illegal tobacco product sales make it easier for teens to get addicted. By eliminating this, we can make a change for youth! It's important to me because I have seen first hand how bad an addiction can get and the outcomes. It truly hurts to see others paying the price that tobacco use brings. I care about my state and I want to see us succeed. It feels good to be part of the change and I hope you can support us and our youth.

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