Teen Activist

Protecting Oklahoma Youth

January 27, 2023

My name is Lacey Laymon. I am a Junior at Keys High School, and I am a member of the YAHL Leadership Team. YAHL is a youth-led organization that focuses on healthy youth in Oklahoma through two campaigns. In this blog I’ll be focusing on CounterAct Tobacco, which focuses on comprehensive tobacco retail licensing, which is basically making stores like gas stations not market to youth with e-cigarettes and vapes, and it overturns preemption. 

This policy focuses on comprehensive tobacco retail licensing which would help protect youth from tobacco use, it educates on how bad tobacco use is, and focuses on the importance of tobacco-free youth. It’s important to have strong policies in place because if we didn’t then youth would have easy access to tobacco products and be less healthy. Working with YAHL has been an amazing opportunity to get involved with policy making and seeing how policies can change our state. Other students should get more involved in policy so they can make a difference as well and understand how our government works. With the CounterAct Tobacco policy change we are substantially protecting our youth from tobacco use, therefore leading to a healthier Oklahoma. 

The CounterAct Tobacco Campaign works on taking the power out of Big Tobacco's hands and gives it back to us. It does this by surveying the public and sending public opinion to legislators so we can show that we as people want this. Comprehensive tobacco retail licensing will have such a positive effect on the public health of Oklahomans, especially Oklahoma’s youth population. I have become involved in CounterAct Tobacco by doing a partner presentation with a fellow Leadership Team member to the Cherokee Coalition Board, and attending the YAHL summit to learn even more about what CounterAct Tobacco does for youth. 

I care about this campaign and policy because it is a great way to stop tobacco use in our state. YAHL has been an amazing opportunity for me to get involved and CounterAct Tobacco use. 

By Lacey Laymon, YAHL Leadership Team member at Keys High School

Supported by YAHL, a program of TSET.
Funded in whole or in part by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET)

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