To Educate the Public about the Dangers of Tobacco and Vaping Products
Vista Community Clinic with STAY (Spreading Tobacco Awareness Youth) Club Hosted Interactive Community Forum to Foster Discussion on Ways to Take Action
Vista, CA (April, 2022) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco companies spend more than $20 million every day on advertising and marketing. Children see advertisements for tobacco products while doing every day activities like walking to school or going to a convenience store, supermarket, or gas station. This level of tobacco marketing may lead to increased youth tobacco use. In fact, the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey found more than two million US middle and high school students reported current use of vape products.
The community forum held conversations about the youth vaping epidemic with community members and high school students who shared their personal experiences of tobacco promotions of products in local stores. STAY Club, a youth-led tobacco prevention advocacy group, partnered with Vista Community Clinic (VCC) to host the event at Vista High School.
Daisy Aguilar, 12th grader and president of STAY Club, said, “The tobacco retailer affects other young people and me because of its close proximity to schools. I attend Vista High School, and I know there are a lot of stores with the advertisement for these products. What concerns me the most is that these stores are also close to elementary schools.”
In 2021, Vista Community Clinic conducted observations at 69 tobacco retailers in Vista to document the number and location of tobacco product advertising inside and outside of stores and the types of tobacco products and accessories inside. The observations show that more than 58% of retailers were within 1,000 feet of another tobacco retailer, and 74% were near youth-centered facilities like schools, churches, and parks.
Maria Lopez, mother, Vista resident, and participant of VCC’s tobacco retailer observations, shared, “It is very sad, and I feel unsafe to see so many ads and propaganda for tobacco and e-cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. All this attracts young people and affects our community because it promotes the use of these products. We don’t want our youth to get pulled into addiction.”
A recent study conducted by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) researchers found that daily use of pod-based e-cigarettes, like Juul, has long-term effects on health that may alter inflammation in multiple organs systems. Laura Crotty Alexander, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSD School of Medicine, Section Chief of Pulmonary Critical Care at Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and senior study author stated, “E-cigarette use is highly popular in middle and high schoolers, and we are learning more and more about the negative health effects these vaping devices are causing in the short and long term. Beyond the effects on the vapers themselves, now we also know that secondhand vape exposure leads to respiratory symptoms.”
About Vista Community Clinic:
With nine state-of-the-art locations in North San Diego, Orange and Riverside Counties, VCC provides affordable, high quality health care to more than 70,000 community residents. Services offered by VCC include primary care, pediatrics, prenatal and women’s health, optometry, chiropractic care, dental health, podiatry, acupuncture and behavioral health services. VCC also offers a wide array of community health education programs, which are free and open to all community residents. VCC is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 (highest) Patient-Centered Medical Home, and is the recipient of the HRSA National Quality Leader Seal for exceeding national clinical quality benchmarks. For more information call 760.631.5000 or visit www.vcc.org.