Apr 16, 2024 2:00pm

The Tobacco Industry’s Targeted Marketing Towards Youth

Hello, my name is Brittany Romero. I attended school at Mora High School and Luna Community College. I was on Evolvement for 3 years, 2 of which were spent on the Leadership team. A campaign of Evolvement I am going to be discussing is No Minor Sale, which is a campaign hoping to stop illegal nicotine product sales to minors and educate New Mexicans about the dangers of flavored nicotine products. 

Nicotine products are very dangerous but flavored nicotine products are even more so. This is because the tobacco industry markets flavored products such as candy, fruit, mint, and menthol to catch customers’ attention. In reality, this targets underage youth who are curious about trying these fun flavors. We normally see more youth trying and using flavored nicotine products than anyone else. We know that with 80% of youth aged 12 to 17 and 73% of young adults aged 18 to 24, flavor was a primary reason for using a given tobacco product1. You walk into a bathroom and see kids sharing a new flavor they tried a day ago. This impacts their lives’ because they focus on this product instead of their education. 

For me, I have younger siblings and I wouldn't want them to experience the negative effects of nicotine products, but the tobacco industry is ensuring they will be lifetime users by creating fun, new products for youth to try. I have presented to many people including legislators who agree that flavored nicotine products are harmful and should be restricted. Evolvement works on these issues and speaks with 

leaders in hopes that a policy will be passed that will do just that. One day, we hope that we can help new generations live nicotine-free lives and in order to do that we must stop the tobacco industry from targeting our youth.

1Villanti, A. C., Johnson, A. L., Ambrose, B. K., Cummings, K. M., Stanton, C. A., Rose, S. W., . . . Hyland, A. (2017). Flavored Tobacco Product Use in Youth and Adults: Findings From the First Wave of the PATH Study (2013–2014). American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 53(2), 139-151. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2017.01.026

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