Youth from Healthy Peabody Collaborative joined more than 200 young people from across the Commonwealth gathered at the Massachusetts State House for a Kick Butts Day event to celebrate their role in reducing the influence of the tobacco industry in their communities. Healthy Peabody Collaborative is a member of The 84 Movement, which helps mobilize youth to take action to make their communities more tobacco-free.
While at the State House, youth visited with lawmakers and participated in a speaking program with Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Dr. Madeline Biondolillo, Senator John Keenan, Representative Paul Brodeur, Representative Jeffrey Sánchez, Representative Jonathan Hecht, Representative Jason Lewis, and Representative Sean Garballey. The young people used their time with lawmakers to discuss how tobacco companies use flashy packaging, cheap prices, and product placement to market tobacco and e-cigarettes to young people.
"Kick Butts Day unites youth from all over the state for one important cause - to fight the tobacco industry." said Yolanda Zheng Statewide Leader for The 84 Movement. "We believe in a healthier lifestyle, and we can only make it happen by getting together and telling the world what we see and experience every day."
To re-enforce what young people see in the community a media campaign will be launched next week to educate Massachusetts residents that in-store tobacco product displays are a form of marketing which impacts youth smoking. The campaign, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reflects research that the more kids see tobacco marketing, the more likely they are to start smoking.
The 84 is a program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, developed and managed in partnership with Health Resources in Action. For more information on The 84 Movement and the work being done throughout the Commonwealth to make smoking history, visit www.The84.org and www.makesmokinghistory.org.