Learning and Spreading Awareness in My Community
My name is Gogo Salguero and as a Portales High School student, I have been working as a youth advocate with the Evolvement program for three years and have been on the Evolvement leadership team for two years.
Through No Minor Sale, one of the campaigns Evolvement works on, I have seen the harsh effects that flavored tobacco products have on the youth in my community. Sometimes, teens see flavored tobacco products as a luxury item that they are capable of obtaining. I have been able to speak with many community members and hear how these products have affected their family members, peers, and friends and why it is also important to them. I think that one defining characteristic is that we all want everyone to continue to live long, healthy lives.
Speaking at my local radio stations, KCLV 99.1FM & KTQM 99.9FM, taking part at a No Minor Sale table during the annual Portales Peanut Valley Festival, and partner presentations have given me so many opportunities to understand that this does go beyond their physical health as well as their current mental health and how this will have wide-ranging effects long term. At the 2021 Portales Peanut Valley Festival, it was so amazing to hear about how many people have quit smoking because of their children. Some also told me stories who have lost children due to lung cancer from tobacco use and will never again touch tobacco products. Many times we hear about these things from the children of smokers but never from the parents of smokers.
Adolescents are very intelligent individuals but make mistakes just like adults, and they should not have access to something that will have long lasting harmful effects.