WASHINGTON, D.C.—Two Alabama students have been named National Youth and Young Adult Ambassadors by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for demonstrating leadership in fighting tobacco use in their communities. Summer Harrison, 14, is from Gordan, AL and is a rising freshman. Carson Seat, 15, is from Sheffield and is an incoming sophomore.
These young leaders were among 133 young adults from 33 states who participated in the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ Digital Advocacy Symposium. This was a five-day online training session focused on building advocacy, communications, and leadership skills.
The Youth and Young Adult Ambassadors will work with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to advocate for effective policies to reduce youth tobacco use at the federal, state and local levels. These policies include ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products including flavored e-cigarettes that are addicting a new generation of kids.
Seat is a returning ambassador. He has helped pass tobacco-free ordinances and laws in Alabama including restricting the use of tobacco in cars with minors. Through his continued work with Smoke-Free Shoals, Seat will further his advocacy skills and contribute to policy priorities across Alabama and at the national level while assisting his peers to find their voices as advocates.
While the United States has greatly reduced youth smoking, use of e-cigarettes among young people has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey, from 2017 to 2019 e-cigarette use more than doubled among high school students (to 27.5%) and tripled among middle school students (to 10.5%). More than 5.3 million kids used e-cigarettes 2019 – an increase of more than 3 million in two years. Sweet flavors like gummy bear, mint, and mango have fueled the popularity of e-cigarettes among kids.