May 14, 2024 2:00pm

Why I Participate in Take Down Tobacco Day

My name is Natalie Moreno and I am a proud youth advocate for Evolvement - a youth led movement determined to prevent youth from falling victim to nicotine addiction. Growing up with two younger sisters - Sophia, who is ten, and Priscilla, who is 11 - played a significant role in my life by shaping my values and beliefs. I always want what’s best for them and want to be my best for them. They've motivated me to be the person I am today. 

However, I must admit in the past I did fall into the trap of smoking at a young age. I was influenced by the people around me who made nicotine products appealing. I was interested in exploring mainly because they had different flavors to try. I had thought to myself that trying it wouldn't hurt so I was persuaded. I naively smoked vapes unaware of the long-term consequences it could cause. It wasn't until I realized when my sisters got older that they were aware of what I was doing. They knew what smoking was and it worried me that they may want to try it too. Therefore, my personal journey urges me to fight against the tobacco industry that attempts to normalize smoking amongst young people. 

Every year, Evolvers in New Mexico and youth advocates around the nation unite as a powerful force on Take Down Tobacco Day to do just this - fight against the tobacco industry. We come together to expose the harmful influence the tobacco industry has on young people. This national day of action fights for change by holding this industry accountable for their unethical actions and predatory marketing tactics towards youth. 

All Evolvement members, especially those on the leadership team such as myself, recognize that the tobacco industry has been marketing their products to youth in order to “replace” current smokers who are being killed by their products. According to the American Lung Association, the tobacco industry knows that in order to continue gaining customers, they have to pivot their advertising efforts1. Thus, fun flavors and easily concealable packaging have become popular items. Every single person who participates in Take Down Tobacco Day plays a greater role in confronting this issue. On Take Down Tobacco Day, Evolvers take part by educating their peers and elders to continue uniting all individuals to take down the tobacco industry.

As we come together on Take Down Tobacco Day, the goal is to rise up and make sure industry leaders hear our voices. Together we can encourage change and educate our youth - such as myself and my sisters - so that they can have a chance to live a nicotine-free life. 

1Association, A. L. (n.d.). 10 Really Bad Things The Tobacco Industry Has Done to Entice Kids to Start Smoking. American Lung Association.

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