Take Down Tobacco is a fresh take on Kick Butts Day, organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids that began in 1996 as a day for anti-smoking activism for teachers, youth and health advocates to raise awareness.
This signature platform encourages youth to stand up and speak out against the “Big Tobacco” industries, through planned events to raise awareness on tobacco use issues in the state and local communities.
While there has been tremendous progress over the past quarter century in doing Kick Butts Day to decreasing cigarette use among youth, there is great concern with other tobacco products such as e-cigarettes which have skyrocketed. E-cigarettes are also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems, e-cigs, mods, pods, vape pen and more.
The U.S. Surgeon General has called the use of electronic vapor devices among youth an epidemic. According to the most recent Nevada Youth Risk Behavior Survey, almost 36% of middle school students and 60% of high school students in Carson City admit to trying e-cigarettes. This is a large concern because these rates reverse the progress, we have made to achieve a tobacco-free-generation and instead have a new generation of nicotine users.
Tobacco companies and e-cigarette producers, market their product to youth, spending approximately $1 million per hour in marketing and incentives. The impact of this marketing is seen in the alarming increase of e-cigarette use in youth and young adults. This is concerning because most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can harm the development of an adolescent or young adult brain. Nicotine harms the parts of the brain that controls attention, learning and impulse control. This can lead to addiction and an increase risk for addiction to other drugs.
Tobacco companies’ market candy or fruit flavored tobacco products to our children. Studies have shown that flavored tobacco products play a major role in the initiation and continual use. Many recent studies have also shown that aerosol from e-cigarettes are harmful and not only contain water vapor and nicotine but metals, ultra-fine particles and cancer-causing chemicals.
Our youth are our future. We must provide education and resources for youth and young adults to have the power to make informed decisions. We cannot rely on an industry that profits from sales of these products to provide this education. Let us make April 1, 2021 our day to Kick Butt and Take Action.
If you want to quit using tobacco, call the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUITNOW or if you are a teen under 18 check out Mylifemyquit.com or text “Start my quit” to 36072. There are smoke-free apps available at smokefree.gov. Additionally, staff from the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at Carson City Health and Human Services is available to provide tobacco presentations to our youth, educators and parents. You can contact program staff at 775-887-2190.
For resources and information about department programs and services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, follow us on Twitter @CCHealthEd, “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cchhs, follow us Instagram @gethealthycarsoncity, call us at (775) 887-2190, or visit us at 900 E. Long St., in Carson City.