VOICES: Commercial Tobacco Use

Dear Two Rivers Tribune,

I am writing to you to state that tobacco is killing too many people. I am a member of the Teen Advisory Group (TAG) for United Indian Health Services. In the TAG Program we learn about the dangers of commercial tobacco use. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of premature death in the US. This issue is important to me because we’re the future.

Natives were the first to discover tobacco. More than 440,000 American Indians die each year of tobacco related disease. American Indians smoke at a rate of 32.4%. This is the highest percentage for any race/ethnicity group in the U.S. Other facts about tobacco use include Big Tobacco targets American Indians by funding cultural events such as rodeos and powwows. In some communities the smoking rate is 73%. Tobacco users are more likely to use other addictive drugs. Currently one person dies every 6 seconds from a tobacco related disease.

Adults are buying children tobacco. To help with this serious health problem people can be responsible. It is important to take action on tobacco use because we are in danger. Youth need your help because we are the future.

Help Save the Future!

Sincerely,
Sky Griffin

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