To the editor:
World No Tobacco Day was Thursday, and this year’s theme was “Stop Tobacco Industry Interference.”
The World Health Organization selected this theme because the tobacco industry continues to undermine tobacco prevention and control by developing and marketing products that appeal to youth to make sure that they have two youth or young adult “replacement” smokers for the 1,200 smokers who die each day in our country.
In the last 15 months, the N-CTRL Coalition has been actively raising awareness about tobacco, including how the tobacco industry markets their deadly products to youth.
Educating about the health consequences from tobacco is just not enough to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco. But, adding information about the tobacco industry’s manipulation of youth really gets their attention.
The next time you go into a store that sells tobacco, check out the packaging — colors and shapes similar to non-tobacco, familiar, safe products; and the flavors — Berry Blast, Winterchill, Frost. It is very apparent who the tobacco industry is targeting with their marketing.
N-CTRL coalition members including teens have provided tobacco education to more than 500 school-aged students in Routt County this year, and the response from youth when they learn about tobacco marketing is incredible, many kids are angered by this manipulation. The goal is to arm youth and young adults with the knowledge they need to resist the glamorous, cool, safe marketing tactics that the tobacco industry employs.
Through education and the message “never start using tobacco and you’ll never have to quit,” the coalition hopes to prevent our youth from the deadly deception that the tobacco industry has created. Preventing youth tobacco initiation can lead to a tobacco-free world.
For more information about N-CTRL and tobacco prevention efforts or to get involved, contact me at 875-1883.
Community educator, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association