My Role as an Evolvement NM Youth Leader

Hi, my name is Eliana Ruiloba and I am a junior at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School. This is my second year in Evolvement, but my first year as a Evolvement leadership team member. I have participated in presenting to state legislatures about our wonderful program and participated in several school and community events.

Tobacco is the #1 leading cause of preventable death in the United States. In the U.S. alone 480,000 people have died from tobacco related illnesses. As a high schooler I am targeted by the tobacco industry because they flavor tobacco products with things like cotton candy, grape, blue raspberry, and other things that appeal to youth. It has become popular to use tobacco in this generation. Use of tobacco products before the age of eighteen can lead to addiction for life.

Evolvement New Mexico youth focus on two campaigns, the first one, No Minor Sale, is community based, even though tobacco sales to minors are illegal, 1 in 6 retail stores still sale to minors, Evolvers like me raise awareness of that issue. Our second campaign is called 24/7 New Mexico and it is focused on changing school tobacco policies district-wide to be completely 100% comprehensive. Being completely comprehensive means absolutely no tobacco products on school campus or at school sponsored events used by students, staff and visitors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Both campaigns are important to me because my grandfather started using tobacco at the young age of 13 and I have seen the effects of tobacco first hand. I do not want my young family members to be exposed to tobacco products at school or in their community.

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