A DEFENSE TO RAISE THE MINIMUM LEGAL SALE AGE OF NICOTINE PRODUCTS TO 21 IN LANE COUNTY
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Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances around the world, and it is the responsibility of community leaders to advocate for the regulation of it and the protection of our youth. The tobacco industry has long fought the research on the negative health outcomes of tobacco and nicotine exposure, so policymakers have incredible power and accountability in preventing youth from using addictive substances. Making changes now can powerfully impact future generations from devastating health outcomes and the financial costs associated with them. Because smoking among adolescents has almost doubled from 2013 to 2015, all outcomes associated with smoking will likely increase and have an adverse impact on the community and its residents. This thesis delves into how nicotine itself acts in the body at different developmental stages in adolescence to highlight the addictive properties of nicotine. It also explores both the immediate and long-term effects of nicotine use. The data and purpose is specific to Lane County, OR.