Hello, my name is Ethan Grimmett. I’m a current YAHL Leadership Team member and I’m hoping to spread the message and change people’s minds or make them more aware of the circumstances surrounding Big Tobacco.
First off, YAHL is the Youth Action Health Leadership organization with two campaigns, CounterAct Tobacco and Elevate Student Health. In CounterAct Tobacco, we push for change in policy and licensing to take the power out of Big Tobacco’s hands and put it into individual towns’ hands.
Statistically 90% of nicotine addiction starts in youth 18 and under. I have personally seen people close to me struggle with this addiction. My aunt got addicted to nicotine when she was a teenager in middle school, and since then she has ruined her life never really becoming stable. Even going as far as stealing from my grandma at a young age.
I would like to spread this message more. I don’t want to see young people follow this trend of addiction. I collected CounterAct Tobacco surveys at my school and the data showed that many people said they vaped regularly. These kids don’t care because they are already addicted. But I’m hoping to change that. I’m hoping to reach the adults of the state of Oklahoma and spread the awareness of Big Tobacco’s hold on advertisement.
CounterAct Tobacco is a great and meaningful campaign pushing for policy change in the licensing and advertisement of Big Tobacco for youth. This message needs to spread throughout Oklahoma to those who have the power to change it. The youth of this state don’t want to be addicted to tobacco and some of us are using our voices to push for that change. So help us and use your voice too.
By Ethan Grimmett, YAHL Leadership Team Member from Lawton High School