SACRAMENTO (KOVR) — A rally at the State Capitol attracted hundreds of teenagers from around the state, who came together to raise awareness about what they call tobacco-related disparities in their communities.
They said that while California has made great strides to address tobacco-related death and disease by banning most flavored tobacco products, the industry continues to release new and similar products in an attempt to bypass the law and bring in new users.
One student said, “The tobacco industry must be held accountable for the way it manipulates, degrades and exploits marginalized communities. We have to look at tobacco-related deaths and disease differently than the tobacco industry tells us to.”
Advocates say the tobacco industry disproportionally targets communities of color, where tobacco products are consistently less expensive, the density of tobacco retailers is higher, and up to 10 times more tobacco ads and billboards can be found.
After the rally, the youth advocates met with legislators to discuss what they are doing locally to reduce the impact of tobacco in their districts.
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