Apr 15, 2024 2:00pm

Creating Healthier and Better Lives for New Mexico Youth

My name is Jayden Patcigo. I’m a freshman at Grants High School and I started Evolvement in September 2022. There are two branches under Evolvement: No Minor Sale and 24/7. Both have their own missions for nicotine and tobacco prevention in New Mexico. This is to help stop youth nicotine addiction.

When I started Evolvement I learned about No Minor Sale, which helps stop youth from getting their hands on nicotine products in New Mexico. I have helped collect No Minor Sale surveys from students and staff at my school. The data collected from surveys is meant to help us show support for a policy that would restrict these products and make it more difficult for students to purchase and use them. 

I think nicotine products are harmful because tobacco still remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. In fact, the CDC says that more people die from tobacco related illness such as cancer and COPD than aids, homicides, alcohol, and car accidents combined 1 and now youth are starting to get addicted more easily. I see kids in my school vape a lot. I personally know a few kids who vape and I see others when I sit outside during lunch break. When I go to the gas station, I see that a lot of flavored cigarettes are almost completely sold out. The appeal of these products is dangerous, and it’s obvious that they are very popular.

So in general, I believe that if youth were protected from flavored nicotine products, they would live healthier and better lives and never start smoking in the first place, which means they wouldn’t need to worry about becoming addicted. I also feel that They wouldn’t have  to worry about the harmful effects of using these products. Through No Minor Sale, I hope to make this a reality and protect the youth in our communities from flavored nicotine products.

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, October 29). Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking. Smoking & Tobacco Use. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

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