May 15, 2024 2:00pm

Why I Joined Evolvement

Hi, my name is Marley Eskeets and I am a freshman at Pecos Cyber Academy. This is my first year in Evolvement - a youth led movement helping to prevent youth from using and accessing nicotine products in New Mexico. Evolvement and the No Minor Sale campaign work together to take down the tobacco industry because it has affected our youth.

One of the campaigns I work on is No Minor Sale, which works to educate our community and ask why they support taking down the tobacco industry. Recently, I was able to speak with my community during Take Down Tobacco Day. One person agreed there was a problem with youth accessing nicotine products and wanted to find ways to prevent youth from smoking at a young age. Another person was concerned for their children. They told me their kids feel pressured to smoke due to peer pressure.

I care about this issue because I think it is important for people to understand how it feels to be pressured into doing things that you don’t want to, simply to fit in. I have also witnessed my peers using flavored nicotine products. This is not only a problem in high school, but middle and even elementary school as well. That is why I think that it is important for us to help prevent kids from gaining access to these products. 

This is where policy comes into play. It is so important to have policies, such as the Tobacco Products Act, because it helps protect youth from accessing nicotine products. According to the American Lung Association, most adult smokers begin smoking before the age of 18, and many become addicted to nicotine before even finishing high school1. Working with Evolvement has shown me that having good policies in place can help prevent youth, including my peers, from lifelong nicotine addiction. 

I hope that by spreading awareness, educating community members, and advocating for strong policies through the No Minor Sale Campaign, youth can be protected from the tobacco industry and its predatory marketing tactics.

1Association, A. L. (n.d.-b). Why Kids Start Smoking. American Lung Association.

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