Tobacco prevention van stops at college |

Tobacco prevention van stops at college

If someone doesn’t try it before they’re 18 years old, chances are good they will escape its grasp.

Educating young adults and teenagers about the dangers of tobacco use is the goal of TEAMO2, a van and trailer to be parked Thursday outside Lake Tahoe Community College from noon to 2 p.m.

The visit is sponsored by El Dorado County Public Health Department. The van and trailer are equipped with a sound and video system, tobacco quizzes and education about how to quit smoking.

“Most teens don’t realize how addictive nicotine is until it’s too late,” said Jorge Orozco, health education coordinator for El Dorado County Public Health Department. “Two-thirds of teens who smoke wish they had never started. So our goal is to discourage young people from ever starting. We also help those who are already using tobacco to quit.”

More than 40,000 California residents die each year from smoking-related causes. That’s more than the number of people who die because of alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fires and AIDS combined, Orozco said.

Studies show that about 90 percent of smokers start using tobacco before they are 18 years old, according to Orozco, but if they stay tobacco-free until they are 24, it is unlikely they will smoke as an adult. For more information, contact Orozco at (530) 573-3191.

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