Sunset at Venice Beach. Photo by Kris Dahlin

Protect our kids from the harms of tobacco
Last month marked the American Cancer Society’s 46th annual Great American Smokeout, a day dedicated to helping people make a plan to quit tobacco. In California, 40,000 people will lose their lives to smoking-related diseases this year alone. As an oncology nurse practitioner, I see firsthand the deadly consequences of tobacco use on a daily basis.

That’s why it’s so important that the Los Angeles City Council acts swiftly to help protect kids from the harms of tobacco use. Menthol, other candy- and fruit-flavored tobacco products are a key part of the tobacco industry’s shameful strategy to bait youth into a potential lifetime of addiction. And unfortunately, it’s working.

Nearly 29 percent of California high school students have used tobacco products. Flavors are the leading reason young people use tobacco products and perceive them as less harmful.

The LA City Council has the opportunity to help reverse these disturbing trends by ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and flavored shisha.
Laura LaRose, NP
Los Angeles