by California State PTA Legislative Action Committee
Flavored tobacco products like blue raspberry, root beer, and minty menthol target and hook kids. Tobacco companies use these flavors to make our children their lifelong customers. The numbers speak for themselves:
- Over 2 million middle and high school students now use e-cigarettes
- In California, over 96% of high school e-cigarette users who smoke use flavored products
- 4 out of 5 kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product
A “YES” vote on Proposition 31 will make it illegal to sell flavored tobacco products in the state of California. California State PTA is urging every parent, educator, and child advocate to vote YES on Proposition 31.
As explained in more detail in our prior post the passage of Proposition 31 will affirm Senate Bill (SB 793), a 2020 law supported by California State PTA and the majority of California legislators.
A Yes Vote on Proposition 31 is a Vote to Protect the Lives of All Children
The health and wellness of children is one of the California State PTA’s top priorities. And children have been a target of tobacco marketing for decades. By hooking children on tobacco, the tobacco industry is creating customers for life. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical and is especially harmful to youth. It affects brain development, attention, mood, and impulse control as well. It is also often a gateway to youth using other drugs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco addiction increases healthcare costs, including public health expenditures, by billions of dollars. Much of that is paid for with tax money from smokers as well as non smokers, thus affecting all California residents.
Smoking, in any form, has tremendous second- and third-hand smoke effects. The children and people who choose not to smoke are still affected by the smoke and vapor in the air or embedded in the walls and surfaces. School bathrooms are frequently used by smokers, making them a dangerous place for all. It is a serious health crisis.
Local PTAs Can Use Their Organizational Voice to Lend Support and Protect Our Kids
California State PTA urges all parents, teachers, members, advocates, and citizens to support Proposition 31. Because the California State PTA has adopted a YES (support) position on Proposition 31, local PTAs can use that as their authority for their own local advocacy. Local units and councils can use this opportunity to share the harmful effects of tobacco on growing children as well as the long-term harmful effects on society as a whole. Some resources can be found here https://www.voteyeson31.com/get-the-facts.
You can use your regular local meetings, social media channels, and other communications strategies to support Proposition 31. California State PTA will also be putting together social media messages for your convenience. And don’t forget to encourage everyone to vote in the November 8 election.
Individual action and advocacy is also important. In particular, the Vote Yes on 31 campaign is asking for proponents to share their reasons for supporting Proposition 31 and provides this link for doing so.
Health, Environmental, and Equity Organizations Support Proposition 31
California State PTA is not alone in supporting Proposition 31. The American Cancer Society, American Lung Association in California, and the American Heart Association are among a growing list of supporters of Proposition 31. The full list of local, statewide, and national organizations is available on the Yes on 31 website.