SB793 needs to happen

SB793 can literally effects California new generations

Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the bill that is known as SB793; a bill prohibiting the selling of flavored tobacco. On Aug. 28, 2020, the petition made against the sale of flavored tobacco was passed by California state legislators and later signed by governor Gavin Newsom. However, the state of California recently suspended the bill until voters can decide whether to appeal or pass it. I, personally, believe that this ban needs to remain in effect as it is one step closer to preventing youth from having access to menthol tobacco as a whole. 

When SB793 was originally introduced state legislators cited a 2018 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study finds that 67% of high school students and 49% of middle school students who used tobacco products in the prior 30 days, reported the product to be flavored. The reason why adolescents are so attracted to tobacco is because of the unique flavoring that masks what would be a disgusting tobacco taste.  With their fruity names and colorful display art, there’s no wonder why kids are getting hooked on flavored tobacco or vape products.  

According to https://teen.smokefree.gov/the-risks-of-tobacco/nicotine-addiction Nicotine is the chemical found in tobacco products that are responsible for addiction. When you use tobacco, nicotine is quickly absorbed into your body and goes directly to your brain. Nicotine activates areas of the brain that make you feel satisfied and happy.

While flavored tobacco is getting young kids hooked on smoking, the 2019 National Youth tobacco survey indicates that e-cigarettes are being used by 27.5% of youth, an increase from 11.7% in 2017.

However the blame cannot solely be placed on teenagers, tobacco companies are of no innocence either. The tobacco industry recognizes its target audience of naive youth wanting to fit in with a cooler crowd and builds marketing strategies off of this.

 I think at one point in our lives we all have a friend or a family member that smokes flavored tobacco substances. For me, it was when I was on my high school soccer team. I got to witness the effects that tobacco can have on athletes. There was a specific teammate and he also seemed to struggle with his breathing when we would be doing the Indian run as a team. I just assume it was because he was out of shape like me. One day after practice it was like at 7 of the evening I was walking to wait to get picked up. That one teammate was also walking in the same path and we began to have small talk about how painful conditioning is. Then my ride came and I said bye and after when I got in the car I saw that he began smoking a tobacco product.  Then after that, I began to notice he would cough very often more than anyone else. I would see when the coach was arriving he would hide the products well in his backpack. I never talk to that person again but I learn a lot from noticing how my old teammate had health problems due to the tobacco product. 

As adolescents continue to get hooked on tobacco, especially flavored tobacco, it will only continue to lessen the life expectancy of millions. According to www.tobaccofreekids.org, 480,000 minors die from tobacco use and/or inhaling secondhand smoke, and 5.6 million kids in the United States will eventually die due to smoking. 

I personally feel that banning flavored tobacco is just a step in the right direction. The ban will lower the rate of teens attempting, and most likely getting hooked on, tobacco, but it is not enough. According to the CDC in 2018, more than 7 out of every 100 (7.5%) people who tried to quit smoking tobacco succeeded. As well as being addictive, smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, which is the single leading cause of death in the United States. Smoking causes 1 of every 3 deaths from cardiovascular disease, according to the FDA. Banning tobacco will result in fewer teens getting hooked on smoking, and can help reduce the number of deaths that occur in the United States.