Teen Activist

Take Down Tobacco Day at Sperry High

June 27, 2024

My name is Hope Hodson. I am a sophomore at Sperry High School. I have been in YAHL going on three years now, and I am about to start my second year on the YAHL Leadership Team. I joined YAHL to help make a difference in my school and community. 

YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health Leadership. YAHL works with TSET on two different campaigns. Our first one is Elevate Student Health, which helps with getting healthier food options at school. The second campaign, which is what I will be talking about, is called CounterAct Tobacco. CounterAct Tobacco is working towards updating tobacco retail licensing laws in Oklahoma to hold Big Tobacco accountable for targeting youth. 

A couple of weeks ago, I did an event for Take Down Tobacco Day. I went around my school and town to tell adults about YAHL and what we are trying to do with the CounterAct Tobacco campaign. At first, people were confused on why we are doing this campaign because you can’t buy tobacco products until you are 21 years or older. However, what most people don’t know is that in Oklahoma, you do not have to have a license to sell these products. Without a license, they are not required to check people's IDs. This means teenagers are able to buy vapes and e-cigs. Once I told people this, they all agreed something needs to change. 

For that change to happen, more youth need to help spread awareness. The more voices that can be heard, the more people can be encouraged to make a change. My goal is to help make a change in my community and to help spread awareness about CounterAct Tobacco. By participating in Take Down Tobacco Day, I feel like I helped in making a difference.

By: Hope Hodson, Sperry 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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