Since losing its shirt in the court of Public Opinion and in Congress, the Tobacco industry has come back, swinging hard.
While youth cigarette use gradually declined in the 2000s, the tobacco industry purchased the vape industry.
And, after years of successful prevention efforts, today, teen cigarette use is on the rise, largely attributable to vape and e-cigs.
While Youth tobacco use rates are lower in Jefferson County, our Youth are at risk because of increased advertising efforts.
The science is solid. The nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products is highly addictive, and as tough to kick as heroin and cocaine. Three out of four high school students who begin smoking will continue the addiction as adults.
Inside a smoker, nicotine travels straight from the lungs to the head and the heart. It lights up the reward centers in our brains to program us to always want more. On the outside, the tobacco industry has us surrounded. Aggressive marketing follows us into our stores and neighborhoods — in some communities, more than others.
Overcoming the physical craving for nicotine is hard enough. Every advertisement, every special offer, every strategically placed reminder at the corner store is one more barrier between people who want to quit smoking — and freedom.
“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” Attributed to Mark Twain
The good news is that quitting tobacco is possible — and help helps. If you or someone in your life is looking to quit tobacco, Smokefree Oregon has free resources and counseling to help break nicotine addiction.
The Oregon Tobacco Quitline