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Proposed policy change aims to limit youth's access to tobacco products in Arvin

Tobacco Free Coalition's proposed policy would prevent new retailers from opening within 1,000 ft of schools, parks, and libraries
Posted at 5:04 PM, Feb 23, 2024
  • Video shows how proposed policy change aims to limit youth's access to tobacco products by preventing new retailers from selling those products within 1,000 ft from schools, parks and libraries.
  • The policy change is being proposed by Tobacco Free Coalition.
  • According to a recent survey conducted by the coalition, 80% of Arvin residents are in favor of the policy change.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

According to the Tobacco Free Kern Coalition, the use of tobacco products among high school students is decreasing nationwide. However, the middle school usage rates are increasing—especially in rural communities.

The coalition's proposed policy aims to raise awareness about teen vaping and reduce their access to these products. If passed, the proposition would prevent new retailers from selling tobacco products within 1,000 ft of youth-friendly areas. This would include schools, parks, and libraries.

To help promote this proposition, the Coalition plans to launch a paid media campaign soon in the city.

"We're making these signs available so parents can really know what's happening in school at the same so that they can easily identify between a regular USB device and a vape pen," said Bernardo Ochoa, chair of Tobacco Free Coalition of Kern County.

Statistic from the Tobacco Free Kern Coalition
Statistic from the Tobacco Free Kern Coalition

According to Ochoa, a survey conducted by the coalition revealed that 80% of Arvin residents are in favor of limiting the amount of tobacco products available to youth.

Back in November of 2022, 76.5% of Californians voted 'YES' to Proposition 31—banning the sale of most flavored tobacco products.However the coalition says, there are several retailers in the Arvin community selling these products.

"It's the flavors. Kids love flavors," explained Ochoa. "Kids want to smoke anything that has a flavor, so yes California passed a flavor ban here, but it didn't ban all the flavors and some retailers are still selling some of those flavors in stores."

In addition to limiting the amount of tobacco products available to youth, the coalition's campaign will inform parents about tobacco products, so that they can speak to their teens about the potential harms that nicotine may have on them.

"Nicotine starts adjusting how the brain reacts—it just starts changing the whole chemistry of the person's brain—especially at a young age when their mind is developing," said Ochoa.

Community members can expect to see Tobacco Free Kern Coalition's campaign ads starting March 22nd. For more information on the campaign and for resources to quit smoking, visit FlavorsHookKids.com.


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