Local youth leaders tell Albany lawmakers that tobacco is trouble
Submitted photo and press release:
BATAVIA -- Brittany Bozzer, Youth Engagement manager of Tobacco-Free Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties (TF-GLOW), took Reality Check youth leaders from both St. Joseph School and Notre Dame High School to the state Capitol this week.
They went to Albany on Monday for the Annual Tobacco Control Legislative Day.
Their mission: to show lawmakers the success of the work they’ve done in their community to lower the smoking rate. They also told state leaders about the challenges they face in trying to reduce tobacco use, particularly among vulnerable groups in including fellow youth, the poor and people dealing with mental health issues.
The facts they shared
Cigarette smoking among New York’s high school youth declined 82 percent between 2000 and 2018, but from 2016 to 2018 the rate increased slightly for the first time since 2000. Even more alarming, electronic cigarette use among the state’s middle and high schoolers continues to rise.
Between 2014 and 2018, the rate increased fully 160 percent, from 10.5 percent to 27.4 percent, and studies show e-cigarettes can be a precursor to cigarette smoking in youth, even those who were not likely to smoke cigarettes.
Not only has the youth smoking rate in New York State increased for the first time since 2000, but data reveals that more than 1 in 4 of New York’s high-schoolers is using electronic nicotine devices,” Bozzer said.
“With more than half of teens falsely believing e-cigarettes are harmless, adolescent nicotine exposure can cause addiction, it can harm the developing adolescent brain and it can increase the risk of adolescents starting and continuing smoking combustible cigarettes.”
Successes and troubles
St. Joe’s eighth-graders Cayla Hansen and Katie Kratz, as well as Notre Dame sophomores Ben Streeter, Krysta Hansen and junior Maddie Payton, don’t like what they see the tobacco industry doing to hook their friend and family members.
So for this year’s Tobacco Control Legislative Education Day, they wanted to show and tell their elected officials what they see. They created an interactive, life-sized board game called “Tobacco Trouble,” bringing lawmakers on board with the game between legislative sessions to learn about the group’s recent tobacco control successes and the continued fight they’re in with Big Tobacco, an industry that has overfilled their community's retail stores with tobacco products.
More troubling facts in NYS:
- Adults with poor mental health, less than a high school education or annual income less than $25,000 smoke at much higher rates than the general adult population in the state;
- About 280,000 kids now under 18 will die prematurely from smoking;
- E-cigarette use amongst youth has almost tripled from 2014 to 2018;
- E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product by youth—more than cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and hookah;
- Studies show e-cigarettes can be a precursor to cigarette smoking in youth, even those who were not likely to smoke cigarettes;
- Using nicotine in adolescence may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.
Reality Check empowers youth to become leaders in their communities in exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry.
The organization’s members produce change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education. Reality Check in this area is affiliated with Tobacco-Free Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties (TF-GLOW), a program managed by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
kind of cute ....... cigarette smoking is still a legal activity ya know?... cute using kids and all, but they are going to have to wait a long time before they reach the age where they can legally partake. People smoke cigarettes, so what. Who cares? you want to smoke? go ahead why would anyone care?. Do you know the NYS tax on a pack of cigarettes is more than the cigarettes alone? Can't be all that bad if NYS is making money off of it. Free money.
Education is good for these kids but to tell them cigarette smokers are poor and mentally retarded is going way too far.
280,000 kids died from smoking? I don't think so, I'm going to need some more data before I inhale that one.
David - would you prefer this?
After all - "cigarette smoking is still a legal activity ya know?"
Yes - cigarette smoking is legal, but what is the issue teaching kids about the consequences of smoking and using other tobacco products?
Kids usually start smoking because of peer pressure David. Smoking is a lethal addiction that is extremely difficult to "kick." Education is the only truly effective deterrent and these kids seem much better educated on the subject than you do. The statistics they cite seem perfectly realistic to me and with zero evidence to the contrary there is no reason to doubt them. I don't see where any type of benefit streams flow in any direction other than to the "coffers" of corporate bottom feeders and the government shills they buy.
These kids are motivated to help their loved ones who's addiction they must witness. Believe me when I say that I understand their anguish. You kids deserve a thunderous round of applause, and a few curtain calls.
Cigarette smoking is a major cause of preventable disease and premature death.
It has a total annual economic cost to the U.S. of $300 billion per year.
The two answers to try and offset these negative externalities is prohibition or education. Since prohibition has it's own negative externalities and harms individual liberty, autonomy, and agency, education is the best option that both addresses the costs and doesn't criminalize individual choices.
Tim, is that what you prefer? a link to joe camel? Are those Newports in the display?
Howard, you know enlisting in the military is a major cause of premature death too, driving an automobile?
I did Not advocate consumption of tobacco products by anyone. Just making a point that brainwashing kids with statistics that tobacco users are poor and mentally retarded and will suffer premature death is probably Not the best way.
I don't think there is anything wrong with being poor or mentally disabled do you?
Facts are not brainwashing. They're just facts. The facts, in this case, aren't even linked to any sort of speculation on cause and effect.
The words "mentally retarded" are not used. That's your prejudice showing through.
Most cigarette smokers, regardless of socio-economic status, will likely suffer premature death. That seems like a pretty important fact to share with kids unless you support those things and want more people to die young.
Actually, the modern military is not a major cause of premature death. Battlefield deaths have dropped to a fraction of what they were in past wars.
And we try to educate our kids about the dangers associated with driving and how to minimize those dangers. Unless you're saying you oppose that, too.
David - I have to say that is one of the silliest comments/retorts I've read here in The Batavian.
Congrats! I haven't seen a "I'm rubber and you're glue..." note in quite a while.
Death is often a welcome relief for those who suffer the often long debilitating effects of smoking.
Daniel, on that note, I've had a couple of friends tell me they were praying to God to take them as they passed a kidney stone.....come to think of it they both smoked cigarettes, go figure.
Why go figure when you can gooogle. Studies suggest that smokers are twice as likely to to form stones. But if they were hanging out in your basement.... A sedentary lifestyle also increases the odds. LOLOL
Not only that Daniel but studies have shown that cigarette smokers are more than likely to idolize and emulate professional athletes that abuse their spouses/loved ones. Feel very fortunate I don't live in the world of tobacco usage. (cough-cough)