Letter to the editor: Vote yes on 1A to help curb teen nicotine use in Summit County
As of May 2019, the U.S. Surgeon General reports, “Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and worldwide. … Over the past five decades, (tobacco use) has killed ten times the number of Americans who died in all of our nation’s wars combined. … Prevention efforts must focus on young adults ages 18 through 25, too. Almost no one starts smoking after age 25. Nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking by age 18, and 99% started by age 26.”
The 2016 U.S. Surgeon General report states, “As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap. All of this is creating a new generation of Americans who are at risk of nicotine addiction” due to easier addictive properties during adolescent brain development (ages 9-25 years).
We also know based on U.S. Surgeon General studies that increasing price is the most effective tobacco control intervention.
We also know that Colorado is “in the lead” for young people nicotine product use, to include vaping, compared to the U.S. average.
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I just listed a bunch of facts — so what? Well, if you’ve been paying attention to local media or attending Summit Board of County Commissioners, town council or community meetings this past summer and fall, you know we have ballot Measure 1A heroes in our midst, “banging a drum” for tobacco/nicotine prevention using proven methods. These young women and men are Summit High School students who are a part of the Youth Empowerment Society of Summit under the Communities that Care coalition. So let’s listen to their “beat” and vote yes on 1A!
If you’re curious (and you should be), catch some convincing words from a few of our young heroes at youtu.be/PbCi7ceHoRc.
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