I’m in high school and I’m disappointed that CT doesn’t fight smoking

Twenty-seven percent. Almost a third. That’s the number of high school students in Connecticut who use e-cigarettes. As a junior at Sacred Heart Greenwich, I wish I had found that number surprising. Every day I see another classmate take an e-cigarette – which research shows leads to the use of traditional cigarettes and their deadly consequences.

Did you know that almost all cancer deaths in Connecticut are attributable to smoking? An estimated 56,000 kids like me – kids under 18 in Connecticut today – will die prematurely from smoking. If we can fight tobacco use, including the use of e-cigarettes, we can help reduce this heavy toll on public health.

On behalf of my classmates and myself, I am deeply disappointed in Governor Ned Lamont’s budget for not allocating any funding to tobacco control programs aimed at helping people quit smoking and prevent children from contracting this deadly addiction in the first place. It could also serve to educate high school students about the dangers of e-cigarettes and help reduce the startling rate of use.

I hope Connecticut lawmakers will think of high school kids — and middle school kids and kids in general — and invest $12 million to fight smoking in Connecticut. Our future is worth more than a zero dollar investment.

Stamford resident Isobel Costello volunteers with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

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