The Damages of Tobacco

Hello, my name is Grace Burton. I live in Stilwell, Oklahoma, and I am a junior at Stilwell High School. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health Leadership. YAHL is a program that promotes a tobacco-free, healthy lifestyle by promoting comprehensive retail licensing for vapes & strengthening school wellness policies. What I hope to get out of YAHL are opportunities for leadership and to promote a tobacco-free lifestyle for youth around me. Kids my age are getting addicted to using nicotine way too young. Vapes and alcohol are very popular with today’s youth. I believe YAHL can help the growing problem of substance addiction. 

Why is vaping unhealthy? Vapes contain nicotine and other potentially harmful ingredients such as ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. This is dangerous because vaping can lead to higher risks of getting lung disease and lung cancer. Kids experiencing anxiety from school, or toxic home life situations, are most likely to be exposed to these products. YAHL can help because there are opportunities to reach these young children and get the word out that vaping is becoming a problem with these young children. Young children may not listen to adults but tend to look up to older teens, like myself, who this program is led by. Community members can help by supporting the policies the YAHL program is trying to promote.

Alcohol is toxic for youth in many ways. People under the age of 21 have brains that are not fully developed, which can lead to alcoholism. Some of the following are risks that come with alcohol addiction are: High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, & digestive problems. Teens with family members who are addicted to alcohol are more at risk than others to use alcohol. YAHL can help this issue by reaching these children on social media by showing them how to live healthy and why it is important. Community members can help by supporting the policies that YAHL are trying to promote.

I am passionate about trying to get youth tobacco-free. As a YAHL member it is our duty to help these kids who got addicted way too young. You can learn more by following YAHL on Instagram @yahloklahoma, or by checking out the website at www.yahlok.org.

How YAHL’s Campaigns Showed Me a New Perspective on Oklahoma Health Disparities

My name is Carina Chen. I am a junior at Classen SAS @NE high school and a member of the leadership team at Youth Action for Health and Leadership (YAHL). I first heard about YAHL in my biomedical class by my Youth Field Organizer (YAHL supervisor), Beverly. During the training, Beverly educated many of my […]


How YAHL Leadership Team Prepared Me to Make Change by Payton Bounds

My name is Payton Bounds, I am a senior at Purcell high school. I worked with many students who are a part of YAHL and on the leadership team. At the YAHL summit, we all gather from across Oklahoma for a few days to learn more about leadership. I originally joined YAHL for the volunteering […]


My Experience with YAHL by Emma Teague

I am Emma Teague and I am going to be a senior at Keys High school. This year is my first year being on the Youth Action for Health Leadership (YAHL) leadership team. My first experience with YAHL was at the training hosted at my High school. Later that year, I participated in YAHL Swap […]


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Passing Policies to Protect Youth by Aaron Roy

Hello, my name is Aaron Roy and I’m 15 from Duncan Ok. I work with the youth program called YAHL which is an acronym for Youth Action for Health Leadership. We try to raise health standards for youth all over Oklahoma. I joined YAHL to become a better version of myself. I’m glad that I’m […]


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My name is Rhianna Dumas and I’m 14. I was born in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and stayed there until I was 7, now I live in Oklahoma City. This past year I joined a program called YAHL. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health Leadership and we work with TSET to get better health choices at […]


Giving a Voice to the Voiceless by My Nguyen

Hello, my name is My Nguyen, I am 15 and I live in Oklahoma City. I’m a member of YAHL, which stands for Youth Action for Health Leadership. In YAHL, we work on two youth-led campaigns: CounterAct Tobacco and Elevate Student Health. I joined YAHL because it is a really good way to help my […]


My Journey with YAHL by Mayra Amezcua

Hi, my name is Mayra and I’m from Howe Public Schools, I am currently 14 years old. I’m a part of an organization called Youth Action for Health Leadership or YAHL. I joined YAHL to try something new. When I joined I was hoping to gain leadership skills, better public speaking skills, and earn scholarships. […]


Working Hard to Make a Difference by Essence Felder

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Why I Joined YAHL by Deiondra Howard

I am Deiondra Howard. I’m from Coalgate, Oklahoma and I’m currently 16 years old. I chose to join YAHL because I want to improve my community. As a teen, in high school, I am exposed to a lot of vaping on a daily basis. I think that YAHL can help to improve the problem of […]


Making a Difference in Coalgate, Oklahoma by Brecken Hunt

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YAHL Impacts My Community for the Better by Carina Chen

Hello, my name is Carina Chen. I am fourteen years old, I am from Oklahoma, and last, but definitely not least, I am a member of the leadership team at YAHL. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health and Leadership and they are a health activist group working towards two campaigns: Counteract Tobacco and Elevate […]