Feb 20, 2024 3:00pm

Say No to Nicotine and Yes to Caring About Our Lives

My name is Billy Haskey Shone Jr. I'm 15 years old, and I live between Little Water and Table Mesa here in New Mexico. I'm a freshman at Newcomb High School and recently joined Evolvement because I wanted to be more involved with helping others. I also wanted to join because Evolvement is a place to say no to nicotine products and let New Mexico know that nicotine is bad for our people. 

Where I live on the Navajo Reservation, I know five people in my family who smoke cigarettes. I worry that nicotine addiction will hurt their health. I am also concerned about how nicotine products are taking over so many lives in New Mexico. So, I want to do what I can to educate people about the harmful effects of using these products.

I work with the No Minor Sale campaign to help people think about living their best nicotine free lives. I’m here to say “no to nicotine” and “yes to caring about our lives”. It is all about protecting our way of life and our families. I also want to help people who want to quit using nicotine products. With No Minor Sale we can help people make better choices.

One major concern is that Big Tobacco uses ad campaigns to target youth. They encourage youth to use nicotine products by advertising fun flavors. I hope to help educate people about how dangerous this is because we need kids to enjoy life and not be sick. I care about families in my community. Their children should have opportunities to live their best lives. When kids try nicotine products in their youth, they can become addicted for the rest of their lives. Too many people are already addicted to nicotine in the state. 

We have to eliminate nicotine products in New Mexico to fix this issue, and No Minor Sale advocates for policies that can help. With nicotine flavor restriction, we can protect youth and move closer to this goal. New Mexico should say “no to nicotine” and “yes to caring about our lives” to create a healthier future for our kids.

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