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Fighting Big Tobacco 


Last March, members of United Indian Health Services' Teen Advisory Group (TAG) from Humboldt and Del Norte areas traveled to the state capital to meet with Sen. Mike McGuire. There, we discussed the ethical problems of marketing e-cigarettes to youth, the need to classify e-cigarettes as a tobacco product, and the myth of e-cigarettes as a cessation aide ("E-Cigarettes vs. Tobacco," June 2). As a group, we thought McGuire was friendly, patient and understanding. He asked us questions and didn't interrupt us when we answered. We appreciate that he took time out of his busy day to meet with us. We knew there were six tobacco bills waiting to be signed on the governor's desk. We wondered if our presence would make a difference.

Joining youth from all over the state, in alliance with the California Youth Advocacy Network, we marched to create awareness about the health dangers of e-cigarettes and unregulated tobacco industry. We don't think it's fair that Big Tobacco companies keep targeting our youth.

We are proud to announce that the voices of youth across California have been heard.

On May 4, Gov. Brown signed bills to raise the age to 21 to purchase commercial tobacco products, as well as regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products (NCJ Daily, June 16). The flavors in e-cigarettes have not been approved by the FDA and it may take years to do so, due to the shenanigans of the Big Tobacco Industry.

People still don't know about the dangers of e-cigarettes. Ever hear of popcorn lung? Look for us at upcoming city council meetings, including in the city of Trinidad. We will be educating the community about policy and e-cigarettes.

Stone Wallace, Arcata

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