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Support the ban on flavored tobacco products

Dear Editor,

We all know of the negative effects and lifelong debilitating conditions caused by the consumption of tobacco products. Proposition 31 coming to Californian’s ballots this November aims to overturn Senate Bill 793, which was passed in August of 2020. Bill 793 banned the sale of flavored tobacco products and tobacco product flavor enhancers, something that we must maintain for the health and wellbeing of our youth.

The introduction of vape and vape nicotine products has undone a lot of the work anti-smoking campaigns have put in to decrease the number of youth smokers in the last few decades. I should know, as a modern-day high school student I see it all the time. My school has had its fire alarm tripped three times this year just in the first few weeks due to students vaping during class in the bathrooms. Hordes of students fill the bathrooms every day to vape the colorful flavors tobacco companies are pedaling, using their school given computers to charge their vape pens. 

The tobacco industry has very transparent intentions with the sale of these flavors, to lure children and capture a new generation of tobacco users. Campaigns like the Truth Initiative have helped turn our youth away from tobacco and tobacco products, specifically cigarettes. The efforts of campaigns against youth smoking have reduced the number of high school students that use tobacco products from 34.5% in 2000, to less than 4% in 2022. 

Support the ban on flavored tobacco products. This bill alone isn’t going to solve all of these issues, but it’s a step in the right direction. For the sake of the next generation, vote “yes” on Proposition 31 to uphold the ban on these addictive products.

— Josh Carr