Youth in Policy: Why Youth Activism Matters and How Empowering Youth Can Make a Difference

Hello everyone! My name is Jasmine Greene and I am an upcoming junior at Cuba High School. This is my second year in Evolvement, and my first year on the leadership team. I’m so very grateful that I was selected to be on the Evolvement Leadership Team this year and can’t wait to help push for change! Today I will be talking about policy and policy change. 

A policy is implemented as a procedure or protocol as the result of a statement of intent. A policy is established to help maintain order of an organization to ensure that all people are treated equally and fairly. It is important to have these policies in place such as sale of tobacco products or e-cigarettes to minors. This happens with the use of a fake ID from the minor, or not asking for an ID in the first place upon the teen asking for the product. The effect would be very positive in that it would help keep tobacco products away from teens, and even help save their lives. It would also require stores and businesses to have a policy to show a valid ID that shows 21 or older to purchase these products. The policy change we are trying to accomplish in the No Minor Sale campaign is to stop all sale of tobacco products of any kind to minors (such as teens, and even younger kids). 

The way I have become involved with changing this policy is I have been speaking to friends and family so that they are aware of this problem. I myself have been and am trying my best to be a role model for younger children and teens by being tobacco free. I have never tried any form of tobacco even though my friends have tried to pressure me into trying them. This includes cigarettes, E-cigs, such as vapes and JUULs and chewing tobacco. 

Youth should care about this policy because they should care about their personal heath and how this could affect them as a person and their future career. Working with Evolvement has taught me the importance of policy and that teens have a healthier life when they stay away from tobacco and stay tobacco-free. They could become more aware of the effects of how much tobacco hurts their body when they are older and how badly smoking hurts your lungs and liver. People should support Evolvement because we are trying to bring awareness to the problems we have in the tobacco industry. We also are looking out for our fellow teens and the teens of the future generations.

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