Letter to the Editor: Tobacco industry still targeting children

We have a problem in this town, and let’s put it frank, it’s not just exclusive to our town. In fact this problem happens to be in every town around the nation, and even the city of San Francisco has gotten to the point that they had to have a ballot measure to deal with this growing problem.

Now what is that problem you might ask, well it’s dealing with a product that’s both legal and illegal, at least depending on how old you happen to be. If you’re over 18 (or 21, depending on where you live), then it’s perfectly legal, however if you’re under 18 (again 21, depending on where you live) then it’s completely illegal to have this product. What am I talking about, I’m talking about literally any tobacco product on the market.

Now what that problem happens to be is, that around the nation tobacco products are being sold to those under the age of 18 or 21. Now you might say that it’s not possible for a kid to go into a store and buy these tobacco products without showing ID at all, well as a certain voice character in a game I play is used to saying, you are wrong.

Actually let’s do this part as if we were actually listening to the recording in the game. Now normally it would start off with the characters name, and since this is just my opinion on this, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to use that name from the game, so here goes. “I’m Jack Rider, and You Are Wrong! Why, well you think that it’s not possible for any kid to be able to get any tobacco products, that they just can’t go into a nearby 7-11 to get these things, well I’m here to say that not only get they get these items, they don’t have to go in person to get them either, they can just do it through a mobile app my friend and be able to have no ID checked, at all, but you still think it’s not possible. Well my friend, You Are Wrong!”

Look, let’s face a cold hard fact here, and that’s the fact that the tobacco industry already has access to teens and adults alike and honestly don’t care about them anymore, they know for a fact that these days there’s going to be some kind of mobile app that allows someone to be able to go in a get these things with no issue. Sometimes an ID is checked, but seriously not often, and that’s where the problem happens to come from. Now if the company happens to have a contract NOT to get those items, then the person making the delivery just has to go someplace else in order to be able to get the items that the person wants. It’s a work around that has never been closed at all, and personally I’m doubting that the owners of those delivery companies like Postmates, UberEats, etc, will ever close them either.

Now on point, you might be asking how in the world is the tobacco industry trying to aim their products at our kids? Simple, not only do they name the products after things that a kids would like, they flavor them that way, and disguise the products to look like something that a kid would want to get in the first place. Shoot you might’ve even heard the ads on the radios talking about this, well if you thought those titles were fake, you might want to check for yourself. Not only are they doing this with the titles of the flavors, and actually making the flavors that way, they’re also at the time making it where the kids can get them and let them be disguised as different things as well, like something that would plug into a USB drive on a laptop to charge up.

This is all where the tobacco industry is aiming for, and have been for the past couple of years. Hence why there was a ballot measure in the city of San Francisco dealing with this. It was Measure E (or Prop E), and tobacco company R.J. Reynolds put a lot of money into ads trying to make sure that the measure failed. However it passed, and R.J. Reynolds lost a valued target in the city of San Francisco when the people their voted to pass the measure. However that’s there and not here, and despite parents best efforts, outside of that, kids are still able to get these products.

Now as I said before, this is strictly my opinion on this whole matter, however the evidence out there before our eyes tells and paints a far different story. A story that right now the tobacco industry is trying to write to make sure that they can have the last word on the whole deal here, and we have to make sure that they don’t do that.

– Felix Sanchez

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