Oct 15, 2021 4:46pm

Consider the Future: Why I care about Tobacco Prevention

Hello! My name is Chelsea Pritchard, and I am originally from Portland, Oregon, where I went to Portland State University and earned a B.S. in Health Science. Currently, I live in Las Cruces, where I am a first-year Master of Public Health Student at New Mexico State University. So far, I love living in the New Mexico sunshine! I have recently become a new adult volunteer, and I am very excited about this opportunity to inform fellow New Mexicans about the goals surrounding No Minor Sale.

While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I worked at my university to encourage a smoke-free campus. I viewed this as important because everyone should have the opportunity to learn in a clean air environment. Through that experience, I realized just how prevalent and addicting tobacco products are. I've seen friends and relatives struggle with tobacco addiction and the toll it takes on their physical and mental health.

As a big sister and aunt, I want to do what I can to help make sure the next generation is as healthy and joyful as possible. We know that many smokers initially begin consuming when they are teenagers, which makes the tobacco companies happy because they can become regular customers as they get older. With alluring fruit and candy flavors, it has become easier than ever to try tobacco products for the first time, and these companies prey on that.

Young people must be given every opportunity to be just that- YOUNG! We should all care about addressing flavors in tobacco products and tobacco prevention to minors because it can have potential lifelong impacts. This is why I believe in the No Minor Sale Campaign because it works to hold people accountable and prevents these products from making their way into the wrong hands. As tobacco companies continue to advertise and become even more clever with their flavors and marketing, it is increasingly vital that we work just as hard together as a community to prevent potentially lifelong addiction issues. Preventing tobacco use improves communities and life quality which is good for us all.

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