What Opportunities I’ve supported with through No Minor Sale
Hi, my name is Anisa, and I am going into my sophomore year at Farmington High School. I joined Evolvement my freshman year, but this is my first year on the leadership team. Evolvement is a youth led organization that educates communities across New Mexico of tobacco use among youth. No Minor Sale is one of our campaigns, where we are working to ban the illegal sales of tobacco products to minors in New Mexico.
Not many teens know all the effects of using tobacco products at such a young age. The most common tobacco product used among teens are e-cigs. In fact, 97% of youth who vape cite that the variety of flavors is a key reason they started tobacco product use. Tobacco products cause anxiety, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Some long term effects are dental problems, respiratory conditions, heart disease, and even cancer.
For our No Minor Sale campaign, along with my friend and fellow Evolvement youth advocate, Danielle, I did a partner presentation. A partner presentation is when you work with a fellow Evolvement member to create a slideshow and present to a community organization. We did a presentation over zoom to the Farmington Boys & Girls Club. We gave information on what No Minor Sale is, and the dangers of using tobacco products. This was my first public speaking opportunity with Evolvement, and even though it was on zoom, it was a great experience. It is so important to start educating students at a young age so they are aware of the dangers.
Later in Spring 2022, Danielle and I also set up a table at the Bark in the Park Doggie Dash community event in Farmington where we collected many surveys from adults. Surveys are important because it gives us an idea of how much knowledge people have on the use of tobacco among minors, which can help pass laws.
Tobacco products are doing a lot of damage to our youth in New Mexico. We are seeing a rise in anxiety and depression in teens while grades in school are falling. I have one friend in particular who began vaping to deal with her anxiety, but her anxiety only got worse. Yet like I said, so many people, including teens and adults, are not educated on the dangers. By ending illegal tobacco sales to minors, we are creating a brighter future for our teens and generations to come. I know so many teens are struggling with addiction to e-cigs; ending the illegal sale of tobacco products will make a great impact on our community.