Hello, my name is Karli Everett from Chelsea, Ok and I’m 14 years old. I am apart of a program called YAHL. YAHL is a youth led organization to help teens have better physical activity and healthy foods along with having clean drinking water. I hope to gain more leadership skills along with better public speaking skills. I joined because I want to change the tobacco laws where tobacco products are out of reach for young children, teens, and young adults. Two unhealthy trends I see in my generation are lack of physical activity and vaping which we can help because if we take power out of big tobacco companies hands and give it to ourselves, we can help get the tobacco products out of reach with our CounterAct Tobacco campaign and we can help get physical activity into schools with our Elevate Student Health campaign.
Lack of physical activity is making my generation have more health problems like obesity, diabetes, and even heart problems. Its affecting mainly 11 to 24 year olds. I think YAHL can help by promoting more physical activity by having posters up around the schools along with promoting the program during activities in the school and community. I will be talking to my principal and school board to help get my school to add in the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Members of the community can partner with the YAHL program and support us by letting us talk to their audience and collect surveys based on our campaigns.
The CounterAct campaign has taught me how vaping is unhealthy because it is harmful to the body and organs. Did you know Oklahoma is only 1 of 20 states without retail licensure for e-cigarettes, vapor, and other nicotine products? Requiring a licensure helps regulate nicotine products and the sale of nicotine products to children. 90% of nicotine addictions start before the user is 18. The young teens ages 15-17 are mainly affected by vaping, and I know many of my peers are in this category. YAHL can help by requiring stores to have a license to sell tobacco/vapor products and that could help reduce the use of products in young adults and teens.
I want to help reduce the use of tobacco/vapor products in youth and help youth get more physical activity. I want to help by talking to my school board or my principal to pass a new policy. You can help support YAHL, because with you, we can help make Oklahoma a better, safer environment for everyone. Join YAHL today by going to my.yahlok.org/apply.