As a volunteer and youth liaison with the American Heart Association, I agree with the March 9 Under the Dome item, “Anti-smoking funds” – our state is falling behind on tobacco policy.
In North Carolina the use of e-cigarettes among teens increased by 888 percent from 2011 to 2015. Smoking devices have been targeted toward youth, with e-cig flavors like bubble gum and cookies-n-cream. They are placed near candy aisles where teens are likely to pass in convenience stores.
These actions lead to lifelong addiction and a host of diseases. In order to have a healthy future, we have to take action now in preventing tobacco use. This issue matters to me because I see the effect on my loved ones. I have friends with older siblings who already, at college age, are going through programs to quit smoking. My mother is a heart disease survivor, and my grandmother is a 40-year smoker who just recently quit for the second time. My grandmother has smoked since she was in her late teens.
If people who have experienced as much as she has struggled to quit smoking, how do we expect young people to stop any easier?