Jun 12, 2024 2:00pm

Educating My Community at The Portales Peanut Valley Festival

My name is Gogo Salguero and I was an Evolvement youth advocate at Portales High school for 3 years. I was also a part of the leadership team for 2 years. During my time with Evolvement, I participated in many events, spoke on the radio, and gave partner presentations to local organizations; but one event that is special to the Portales community is the Peanut Valley Festival. 

Each year in October, organizations from across the city come together to host an event where crafters, health groups, and local businesses have an opportunity to share what makes Portales so amazing. At the Peanut Festival, Evolvers, including myself, were able to host a table to speak with youth, parents, college students, and many others regarding the harmful effects of flavored nicotine products and how the tobacco industry targets youth with these flavors. According to the American Lung Association, the tobacco industry uses fun flavors like fruit, candy, and even popular cereals to lure youth so that they can become the industry’s "replacement smokers” - meaning new smokers to replace adults who pass from tobacco-related illnesses1

During these events, I was able to educate community members and gain insight from people regarding this issue by collecting opinion surveys. Most of the community  has been supportive of the work Evolvement does with No Minor Sale - even those who still actively smoke. People have told me how they wish they had never started smoking when they were young. The goal of the No Minor Sale campaign is to prevent youth from accessing nicotine products, so that they don’t start smoking at a young age and become those “replacement smokers” the industry hopes for.

I hope that by continuing to spread awareness at events like the Portales Peanut Valley Festival, and educating my community about the harmful targeted marketing by the tobacco industry, I can help make a difference and stop this issue from becoming worse.

1Association, A. L. (n.d.). 10 Really Bad Things the Tobacco Industry Has Done - and is Doing - to Entice Kids to Start Smoking. American Lung Association. https://www.lung.org/research/sotc/by-the-numbers/10-bad-things-to-entice-kids

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