PASSED! – Thank you Holbrook Middle-High Students
Holbrook Middle-High School students were invited to attend the signing of an historic bill that changes tobacco control in the state.
The students, including graduate Sarah Ryan who has become a national force on fighting vaping and tobacco, were recognized for the years of effort put in by the Civics Club and the school’s chapter of the 84 Movement.
“Eighteen months ago, before the cases of lung disease broke out, Holbrook students came to me with a major concern about youth tobacco use.,” Keenan recently said on the Senate floor. “Seeing what nicotine addiction did to their parents and grandparents, they were now seeing it in the hallways of their schools.
“The bathroom was the Juul room. Middle school students were trading flavored pods in the hall between classes.
“For far too long, tobacco companies have preyed upon young people. The business model is to hook people young and create lifelong customers. Flavored products have always been their best hook. This bill would ban all flavored tobacco products. It’s the only way to really protect our kids.”
Endorsed by the Boston Globe
“For many youth, it’s proximity and access that is going to determine their risk behavior. The unchecked growth of e-cigarettes could undo progress the Commonwealth has made in curbing nicotine addiction. The state has a chance now to take a strong stance by taxing e-cigarettes and banning flavored tobacco products.“
Young People Fought for Their Generation
Meet Sarah Ryan, a former Holbrook, MA high school student who continues to step up on behalf of her generation. We were proud to partner with her to prevent youth nicotine addiction and ban the sale of flavored tobacco!
Students from across the Commonwealth hosted a press conference on July 16 to share with their legislators why they are Fighting The Flavor! After the press conference, they testified before the Public Health Committee in support of bills banning the sale of flavored tobacco.
The Fight Continues
Since Governor Baker signed An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control into law in November 2019, MA youth, through the 84 Movement, have been educating their communities– especially other youth, Black, and LGBTQ communities– on the harmful effects of mentholated tobacco products.
The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP) within the Department of Public Health is enforcing the law by:
- promoting two new free quit text and phone programs for youth through MyLifeMyQuit and This is Quitting powered by truth.
- developing mass.gov/newtobaccolaw with information that the Boards of Health, retailers, medical providers, and the general public can utilize
- distributing resources for retailers, including a suite of new state law signs
- funding local Boards of Health so they can reach out to retailers and educate them about the law and its enforcement
- dispersing the supplemental budget funding to update youth and parent education campaigns on vaping and emerging tobacco products and to promote smoking and vaping cessation resources