Feb 14, 2023 4:29am

Educating My Community About the Danger of Nicotine Products

Hello! My name is Shaylee. I go to Portales High School and I am a youth advocate through Evolvement. This will be my third year in Evolvement and first year on the Evolvement Leadership Team. Evolvement is a youth led organization that has two campaigns: No Minor Sale and 24/7. No Minor Sale is an organization that tries to stop the illegal sale of nicotine products to minors. Flavored nicotine products have become popular over the years and pose a greater harm to youth. Flavoring attracts youth and distracts them from the harmful chemicals found in these products. 

During my time in No Minor Sale, I have participated in a few activities such as hosting a table at the Portales Peanut Valley Festival and presenting to the Curry County Health Council. During the Portales Peanut Valley Festival, I spoke to the community about the harmful effects of nicotine products. We collected surveys to see the opinions of community members and what they thought about this issue and our cause. The community seemed very interested in what we were trying to achieve and tried helping us in any way they could. Although the community had very little awareness of what was going on, they were still willing to help. 

During the Curry County Health Council partner presentation via zoom, we talked to the health council about the effects of nicotine products and the harm they pose. The health council was really interested in what we were advocating for and were willing to help us. Although they did not sign on as a partner, they recommended some possible partners and collaboration possibilities. These activities helped me to learn more about nicotine products and the effects it has on minors and I also learned that people don’t really know this is a problem, which is why education regarding this issue is important.

This cause is something that needs more attention because of the unawareness of what is going on with our youth. Youth do not really know the harms of nicotine products and the effects it has on their bodies. It is important to me to reach the youth who don’t know the impacts of these products. I want to be able to inform those who don’t know what they are putting in their bodies and what the short and long term effects are. 

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