I am so excited to be back with you all. This month we are going to be talking about ending tobacco and e-cigarette use! Did you know nearly 1 in 4 adults in Arkansas smokes?
Annual health care costs in Arkansas directly related to smoking cost $1.21 Billion! That is enough to buy every single ad in the next two Super Bowls – and still have MILLIONS left over! Crazy, right? The AHA is asking lawmakers to tax e-cigarettes like other tobacco products in Arkansas. This act alone will help decrease the sale of e-cigarettes and vape devices. But, e-cigarettes and tobacco products are not taxed the same. Right now, in Arkansas, taxes on a cup of coffee and an e-cigarette are the same. Can you believe that a vanilla latte and an e-cigarette are taxed the same?!
The AHA is urging lawmakers to acknowledge the vaping epidemic. E-cigarettes should be taxed the same as all other tobacco products. Raising the taxes on e-cigarettes to match those of other tobacco products will help decrease their sales to youth. This is so important because, right now, 1 in 10 middle school students use e-cigarettes and 1 in 4 high school students use them. Current research shows that when we raise taxes on e-cigarettes but not combustible tobacco, people just switch back to traditional tobacco. That’s why these products need to be taxed together.
While we want to protect our kids from such harmful devices, Arkansas law prevents cities and towns from passing common sense policies like preventing vape stores from opening next to schools! In order to not encourage vaping in students, vape shops should stay as far away from them as possible! Cities and communities should be able to act and protect their children.
It is important that we protect our children from vape/tobacco products while they are in school to prevent a lifelong addiction. According to the AHA Youth and Tobacco Infographic, nearly 90% of smokers first try a tobacco product by age 18. Learn more HERE. This occurs before they are out of high school! This is most likely due to the easy access that student have to tobacco products. If we call on lawmakers to allow communities to prevent tobacco stores from opening near schools, this problem could be reduced tremendously!
As a college student, I see vaping devices and tobacco products everywhere! As the studies show, students started using these products before they came to college. I know this could have probably been avoided if they had not had easy access to these products! This is a prime example of why it is so important to limit the access of these products to students by allowing communities to adopt policies to protect youth. Also, raising taxes on e-cigarettes AND tobacco together could help prevent some of the sales to teens!
We need to call on lawmakers to act and tax e-cigarettes like other tobacco products. Also, communities and cities desperately need to be able to protect their children from these harmful products! Lawmakers must start acknowledging the vaping epidemic and doing everything they can to protect the future generations!
If you would like to get involved, CLICK HERE to join our fight against the youth vaping epidemic!
Thank you so much for reading along this month and I am so thankful for each one of you! I love getting to share my heart with you guys and I hope you learned something new this month! See you next month!!
All my love,