The No Minor Sale Campaign Works to Create a Healthier New Mexico
Hello, my name is Alisia Mejia. I am a sophomore at Atrisco Heritage Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico and this is my first year in Evolvement. Evolvement is a program for youth that is partnered with the No Minor Sale campaign. No Minor Sale is a campaign that advocated for statewide tobacco retail licensing in New Mexico to prevent the illegal sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to minors. Did you know that 1 in 6 retail stores sell tobacco products to youth under the age of 18?
I want to see New Mexico be a healthier state and for our youth to have a better future. I feel that youth and policymakers in New Mexico should care about tobacco products being sold to minors and my peers. We should care for our future and our friends because tobacco is the leading cause of death compared to aids, alcohol, homicide, and car accidents combined. I don’t want 12-year-olds in my community purchasing tobacco products and dying because they are becoming addicted to tobacco and nicotine products. We really need to change the future because we are the future.
Through Evolvement and my work on the No Minor Sale Campaign, I had the opportunity to go to the New Mexico state capitol building in Santa Fe on January 28th. At the capitol I spoke to seven legislators, including one state senator, and asked them to support statewide tobacco retail licensing in New Mexico to reduce illegal tobacco sales to minors on behalf of the No Minor Sale campaign. After I met with the seven legislators, I thought most of them were supportive of tobacco retail licensing. When I met with the first legislator, who happened to be State Senator Candace Gould, I was quite nervous. But after I met with a few more legislators, I gained more confidence and felt more outgoing to speak about tobacco and how it affects New Mexico. With that, statewide tobacco retail licensing was signed into law on March 4th, 2020 and will go into law January 1, 2021. I think it’s important for youth to communicate with policymakers about tobacco prevention because we are going to be the next generation in decision-making and we can prevent young children from being affected by tobacco.
Working on No Minor Scale shows me that kids are getting a hold of tobacco products at a very young age. My work on the campaign and Evolvement has also shown me that I can have the confidence in myself to change the future of health in my state. Working with the No Minor Sale campaign made me realize that New Mexico needs to pay more attention to who is selling tobacco and to whom they are selling to.
If an organization you are affiliated with is interested in joining the movement to protect our youth from the harmful effects of tobacco, please contact Michael@NoMinorSale.com.