LULAC and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids Partnership

Posted on 11/16/2021 @ 01:15 PM

Tags: Health

By Jennifer Reyes, Health Program Coordinator

LULAC is dedicated to health equity among the Latino community. That is why we launched our Latinos Living Healthy initiative to discuss the health issues that impact our community including tobacco-use, obesity, HIV/AID, and lack of representation in clinical research. LULAC’s plan is to address these health inequalities by providing educational resources, hands-on training, bilingual guidance, and webinars.

This year, LULAC began partnering with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to address the impact tobacco use has on the Latino community. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is the leading advocacy organization working to reduce tobacco use and its deadly consequences in the United States and around the world. Because ninety percent of adult smokers begin this deadly addiction as teenagers or earlier, youth are critical and powerful voices in the fight against tobacco. Through our partnership, LULAC hopes to inspire Hispanic youth and parents to learn more about the importance of being tobacco-free and aid families to build healthy habits to prolong their health.

LULAC and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids created a toolkit of curated guidance and resources for Latino youth and communities. The toolkit includes relevant background information on the tobacco industry’s targeting of Latino communities, tobacco products and use, health impacts of tobacco, scenarios on saying no, and messaging to encourage others to avoid tobacco. Check out the toolkit and learn more here: LULAC.org/livetobaccofree

Despite reductions in smoking prevalence achieved since the first Surgeon General’s report on the consequences of smoking in 1964, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smoking accounts for more than 480,000 deaths in the United States each year, and is a major risk factor for the four leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and stroke. More than 43,000 Hispanics are diagnosed with tobacco-related cancer every year and more than 18,000 die from tobacco-related cancer each year. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanic men and the second leading cause among Hispanic women

 

Over 1.1 million middle and high school students still smoke. Nationwide, 5.8 percent of high school students and 2.3 percent of middle school students currently smoke. The most popular tobacco products among high schoolers are e-cigarettes. About 18.9% of Hispanic high school students reported using e-cigarettes and 23.3% report being current users of any tobacco product. Continuing a long tradition of designing products that appeal explicitly to new users, tobacco companies in recent years have significantly stepped up the introduction and marketing of flavored other tobacco products, particularly e-cigarettes and cigars, as well as smokeless tobacco and hookah.Tobacco companies market products in many kid-friendly flavors such as gummy bear, berry blend, chocolate, peach, cotton candy, strawberry, and grape. Flavored tobacco products play a key role in enticing new users, particularly kids, to a lifetime of addiction. This growing market for flavored tobacco products is undermining the nation’s overall progress in reducing youth tobacco use. 

 

Tobacco use and nicotine, found in commercial tobacco products, have serious impacts on mental and physical health.  Nicotine reaches the brain 10 seconds after entering your body and can have adverse effects on the developing brains of young people. Tobacco use can lead to memory and attention issues, stress, anxiety, and mood swings in young people. 

 
On October 14, 2021, LULAC hosted a virtual workshop with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ Director of Youth Advocacy, Gustavo Torrez. During this session, Gustavo discussed the effects of tobacco use on the physical and emotional health of young people as well as the impacts of tobacco use in the Latino community. 
 

If you wish to learn more about tobacco and LULAC’s partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids please visit LULAC.org/livetobaccofree. Stay tuned for our future events!

 
Watch the Smoking, Vaping and Your Health webinar with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids on YouTube
 

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