KYCC’s Tobacco Task Force under KYCC’s Prevention Education, launched a public health policy campaign in Los Angeles and Culver City in an effort to secure policy changes that reduce tobacco use, secondhand smoke, and restrict minors’ access to tobacco products. KYCC’s Tobacco Task Force has been actively mobilizing community support since February 2019 and will continue the campaign through June 30, 2021.
Since studies have shown strong tobacco retailer licensing laws can help reduce sales to underage youth, KYCC’s Tobacco Task Force has been strengthening the regulation of tobacco retail licenses (TRL) in Los Angeles and Culver City. Public opinion surveys conducted in Los Angeles through the Tobacco Control & Prevention Program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health show that 94 percent support restrictions on sales of tobacco products near schools, playgrounds, parks and other youth-friendly areas. The same percentage supports a law revoking a license if tobacco retailers repeatedly sell tobacco products to youth under 21.
The KYCC Tobacco Task Force is also working hard to pass a restriction on flavored tobacco product sales in both cities to combat the youth e-cigarette epidemic.
E-cigarettes are popular among teens and are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States. Their accessibility, alluring advertisements, various e-liquid flavors, and the belief that they’re safer than cigarettes have helped make them appealing to a younger demographic. KYCC’s youth coalition has raised concerns directly with councilmembers and policymakers about this recent trend among teens, particularly vaping, in hopes of changing public health policies aimed at reducing youth access to tobacco products.
In addition to the unknown health effects, evidence suggests that e-cigarette use may serve as a gateway drug for preteens and teens who then go on to use other tobacco products. A study showed that students who had used e-cigarettes by the time they started 9th grade were more likely than others to start smoking cigarettes and other smokable tobacco products within the next year.
Our Tobacco Task Force partners with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tobacco Control Prevention Program, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, researchers for University of Southern California, Community Coalition (CoCo), and various other health voluntary organizations in the Great Los Angeles area for our tobacco prevention efforts within Los Angeles.
KYCC’s Tobacco Task Force is at the forefront of community-wide interventions aimed at mobilizing community support and changing public health policies to reduce youth access to tobacco products. KYCC’s Tobacco Task Force is actively recruiting passionate community members for our tobacco coalitions in both Los Angeles and Culver City. If you are interested in getting involved in this ongoing effort for safer, healthier communities in Los Angeles and Culver City, please contact Hilcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.