LETTER: Don’t let Big Tobacco target youth

Editor, The Spotlight;

According to the Surgeon General, each year, more than 15,000 kids under the age of 18 become new daily smokers in New York State.

This is not OK and is completely preventable! There is a serious problem with how Big Tobacco companies target and manipulate teenagers to not only buy their products, but become life-long addicts.

Big Tobacco companies are extremely smart in their marketing skills and target teenagers through the use of media and brand recognition. Media influences range from celebrities lighting it up on the big screen and TV shows that have a large teen audience, as well as local and national radio stations.

Teenagers are three times more likely to start smoking if they are watching movies with smoking in them. Smoking in movies kills in real life! If movies with smoking were rated “R” it would save 60,000 lives a year!

I have zero tolerance for the tobacco corporations targeting the youth within our communities and country and putting their health at risk. Steps need to be taken to protect our state’s youngest citizens by restricting the tobacco presence in media.

Heather Begin

Ballston Spa

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