My name is Gabriela Alvarez. I attend Lynn Classical High School in Lynn, Mass. I’m a peer leader at Girls Inc. of Lynn, and I recently went to the Massachusetts State House to tell our elected officials how I and other students are being targeted by Big Tobacco and their marketing of flavored products.
Will you join me and share why flavored tobacco is dangerous to me and other youth in our state? Our legislators need to hear about our experiences and why our generation is at risk of getting hooked by flavors.
At school, students deal with the effects of e-cigarettes and the appeal of flavored products on a regular basis. My classes were often interrupted by either the smell of tobacco or by my peers who are unable to stop their use of e-cigarettes throughout the day.
Constant complaints were made from boys in my classes about the limited number of bathrooms due to an incident of boys being caught smoking an e-cigarette in the bathrooms. This led to almost all the boys’ bathrooms closing, except for ones in the cafeteria and by the nurse’s office.
Some of my friends and classmates also have started to use other tobacco products since they have started using e-cigarettes. The two most common ones are cigarettes and dab pens, which contain marijuana.
E-cigarettes are addictive to a vast number of teens and will lead to the use of other tobacco products. I’ve seen this at my own school. The appeal of flavored tobacco products, whether we’re the one using it or not, impacts the lives of families, friends, and classmates in my community.
Please join me and the other students who have already shared their stories and send your personalized letter to your lawmakers. It’s time for us to fight back against Big Tobacco. Will you help?