A message from Ashley Hall, MS, Program Manager for the Northeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership:
I’d like to recognize the leadership of five wonderful youth, Jizaih Booker, Kiasis Whitely, Kris Claudio, Moxy Velazquez, Emmarylis Ortiz, and Yandel Hernandez, and their adult advisor, Andy Chandonnet, from the YWCA of Lowell. Recently they attended Kick Butts Day: Youth Day of Action, a virtual event hosted by The 84 Movement, a statewide movement of youth fighting against the tobacco and vaping industries in Massachusetts. As part of the event, the Lowell youth met with Representative Thomas Golden Jr. and thanked him for removing flavored tobacco products, including menthol, from Massachusetts stores last year. They also discussed the importance of continuing the fight against the tobacco and vaping industries to reduce youth access to tobacco. Specifically, they emphasized the importance of passing policies that prohibit the industries from targeting Black, LatinX, and other populations. The youth also talked about successful events they held this year including a virtual vaping education bingo game, and an upcoming event on Sunday April 25th, “Light A Lantern Against Racism”. I’m proud of their civic engagement and leadership as they fight for a healthier future.