I know I speak for many parents like me across Texas when I say I’m deeply concerned about our youth becoming addicted to tobacco products.
Big Tobacco has targeted kids with aggressive marketing and flavored products — and it has worked. In 2019, more than 6 million kids reported currently using a tobacco product, and more than 1-in-4 high school students reported currently using e-cigarettes. Just last week, the New York Times reported that the tobacco industry is being sued for placing ads on kid-friendly websites and TV channels in order to entice them into trying their products.
This disgusting behavior is nothing new for the tobacco industry, which has a decades-long history of doing everything it can to bring in new customers. A critical piece of Big Tobacco’s strategy is pushing flavored products; menthol flavoring in cigarettes masks the harshness of smoke, and flavors in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products attract kids while addicting them to nicotine.
That’s why I’m joining the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and calling on Rep. Vicente Gonzalez to support the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act to stop Big Tobacco from addicting a new generation of customers to their products. This bill would prohibit all flavored tobacco products and save kids from a lifetime of nicotine addiction.
Let’s act now to protect our kids’ futures.
Barbara Behal, Seguin