Tag Archives: Youth

Does Baseball Promote the Use of Smokeless Tobacco?

I grew up going to baseball games, specifically Dodger games, but this blog post is not about which baseball team is the best. (Go Dodgers!) Many of my friends growing up, including my little brother, played baseball.  I spent countless evenings at the little league field and at my high school baseball field watching my friends play. Our high school team even made it all the way to the championship my senior year and I watched them play at Angel’s Stadium.

Unfortunately, many of my friends who played baseball in high school picked up a horrible habit before turning 18.  They developed an addiction to smokeless or chewing tobacco.  They would use smokeless tobacco while playing baseball and eventually on a more regular basis. Most of them started smoking cigarettes as well. I can only speculate as to why they took up this horrible habit; they saw their favorite major league players using chewing tobacco.  Read More »

Cease-and-Desist Letters Sent to E-Cigarette Companies

Back in April, I wrote a post on how e-cigarette companies were making a fortune selling and marketing Girl Scout cookie e-liquid in flavors like Thin Mint, especially to youth. After writing the blog, I wondered how these e-cigarette companies were getting away with using trademarked names to market their products.  Not only are they using Girl Scout Cookie names as their flavors but they are also using other well known “youth” brand names such as Tootsie Roll and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

At the end of May, Girl Scouts of the USA, General Mills Inc., and Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. sent cease-and-desist letters to the e-liquid companies insisting that they stop using their brand names, or else they’ll take further legal action.  I was very happy to hear that these well-known companies, which market to youth, have all taken a stand against the e-cigarette companies. Read More »

Our Favorite Moments of I&E Days 2014!

Every year, I&E Days allows tobacco prevention and public health individuals from all over California to come together at the State Capitol to educate their legislators on local and statewide tobacco issues. There were many highlights this year, however, we want to point out a single few favorite moments. Feel free to tell us your favorite part of I&E Days 2014 in the comment section below!

This is the 10th I&E Days I have attended. But it was my first year participating from behind the scenes and helping to plan the event. I had an opportunity to see how it is that all participants get assigned to their meetings, I even had an opportunity to help with assigning many of the participants as team leaders.

I have to admit it was a big change for me not to prepare to meet with my legislators this year, but I really enjoyed helping participants get ready for
their meetings. But my favorite part of this I&E Days was interacting with participants from across the State of California. Usually, I only interact with the LA folks, so it was great to meet so many people and to feel the great energy and enthusiasm that everyone brought to this year’s I&E Days. Looking forward to next year!

– Marlene Gomez

It’s always difficult for me to pick a favorite part of our Capitol I&E Days event because everything, really, is so much fun. From watching the newcomers learn and experience meetings for the first time, to networking with colleagues at the Meet and Greet, to hearing about the legislative visits, it’s a great experience from start to finish. But, I suppose if I have to pick, my favorite part of I&E Days was hearing Assembly Member Dr. Pan speak. Read More »

I Love Girl Scout Cookies!

This post is written by the Center’s wonderful new intern, Debra Levi! She is working with Marlene Gomez on all things advocacy related to help with our work in Los Angeles. 


Growing up, I always thought that eating Girl Scout cookies was just a normal and essential part of life. I remember the neighborhood girls would come to my door and ask my mom how many boxes she wanted to order this year. I kid you not, my mom would order at least 20 boxes of Girl Scout cookies every year, at least 15 of which would be Thin Mints. Personally, I love the do-si-dos or peanut butter sandwich cookies. And can still eat a whole sleeve of either in one sitting. (Girl Scout cookies are on my diet during cookie season, but only if I eat them after my Kale smoothies!). The fact of the matter is that Girl Scout cookies are a mandatory staple in life.  Not only are they amazingly delicious, but also selling Girl Scout cookies teaches young girls greatleadership skills that help them mature and grow into successful adults; I think everyone can support that.  The only problem is Girl Scout cookies are sold for only about 2 months out of the year, and then they disappear for the remainder of the year and you just have to hope that your 20 boxes will last you for another month.

At this point, you’re probably saying to yourself, why is she rambling on about Girl Scout cookies like they are the Holy Grail? Well, I’ll tell you!  As a tobacco control advocateand Girl Scout cookie lover and supporter, it really upsets me that E-cigarette companies are making E-juice or E-liquid in flavors such as Thin Mint, Chocomint cookie, and Samoa cookie pie. Read More »

Youth Succeed to Reconvene National City Smokefree Housing Taskforce after 13 Month Hiatus

Guest Blogger – Ofelia Alvarado, Advocacy Director, American Lung Association in California, San Diego

For two years (2008-2010), the American Lung Association in California staff worked intensely on outreach and education, providing trainings and a forum for National City community members and elected officials on drifting secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing. However, it was difficult for community members to be actively involved because of family obligations and lack of time. A few made public comments, but the idea of smokefree housing was a new frontier, and public officials’ reaction was cautionary.

We made a presentation at a neighborhood meeting which the Mayor attended. The clamor by attendees to do something obligated the Mayor to form the Smokefree Housing Taskforce in January 2010. It met sporadically for 2 years but unfortunately, without continued community pressure, the issue waned and action was stalled by the taskforce.

In 2009, youth advocates from the local high school led the effort to successfully pass a smokefree outdoor dining ordinance in National City. Could this same strategy work to have the taskforce reconvene? Read More »