The Tobacco Industry has a Kids Menu.
The tobacco industry uses fun flavors and tech devices to hook kids on nicotine.
Why kids? A developing brain is easier to addict.
The tobacco industry uses flavors to spark curiosity and mask the harshness of tobacco. Sadly, it works. 97% of kids who vape use flavors. What’s on the menu? Blue Razz, Pegasus Milk, and other tempting tastes, all made with flavor chemicals that may damage the lungs.
Many tobacco companies use nicotine salts in vapes rather than regular nicotine. Salts allow higher concentrations to be inhaled more easily and absorbed more quickly. Nicotine addiction can happen fast and can lead to substance abuse of all kinds.
Nicotine is poison for the adolescent brain. It changes the way connections form in the brain, which can interfere with kids’ attention and learning. It can increase anxiety, mood swings, and irritability at a developmental stage in a young person’s life.
The tobacco industry targets kids with flavored tobacco products. Every year, thousands of children become addicted to tobacco. In Imperial county, 11.7 percent of high school students vape or use other types of E-cigarettes. In California, 22 percent of high school students are vaping, and 8 percent are smoking.
In addition to being targeted by the tobacco industry, kids are being exposed to secondhand smoke, which can cause lung cancer, even for people who have never smoked. Children get sick more often, develop lung infections, experience coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. It can also trigger asthma attacks and aggravate existing symptoms.
The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Imperial County encourages local decision makers to take action to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products including menthol cigarettes. In addition, advocates in Imperial County are encouraging decision makers to pass additional policies to keep tobacco out of young hands and protect them from exposure to secondhand smoke. These can only be achieved by strengthening tobacco retail licensing adoptions and smoke-free outdoor policies.
Help protect our youth from the dangers of tobacco control efforts!