WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — Story by Spencer Peterson III / Hall High School
The tobacco industry has always been powerful. Even without any advertising, they’ve been able to continuously keep their users coming back for decades. But with a new generation, comes the need for new customers.
From cotton candy, to fruit punch, to bubblegum, artificially flavored E-cigarettes have done wonders for the nicotine industry, appealing to young kids with these kid-friendly flavors and packaging nicotine in a much more innocent and deceitful way.
But the key here is why, why is this so harmful? We decided to sit down with two very different people who deal with this issue on a daily basis to learn more.
They gave us their take on why you should have to be 21 to buy tobacco/nicotine products.
“With all the new medical science stuff that came out they said that they’re seeing a high increase in teens becoming addicted to tobacco under the age of 21,” said Officer Nick Sanford, the school resource officer at Hall High School.
“You know, what happens with nicotine in particular is, similar to a lot of drugs, it kinda messes with the dopamine system in the brain,” said Dr. Ivy Patt, owner and founder of Mellahealth.
“They moved it to the age of 21 because they thought you know if we can prevent kids getting addicted to nicotine after the age of 21, with brain development and all that stuff, we can have better health in the long run,” said Officer Sanford.
“So we don’t want to sort of mess with the brain’s natural processes with the dopamine system when the brain is still developing,” said Dr. Patt.
Still despite knowing this, companies such as JUUL, which has pulled in billions in revenue over the past decade, continue to push forward with this targeted marketing scheme.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to nicotine, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit mellahealth.com for different therapy options.
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