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Tobacco Free Student Advocacy Day

April 18th, 2018

Seventy-six middle and high school student advocates from the Northwestern CT Partnership for Tobacco Free Communities and Western CT Alliance for Tobacco Free Communities, two Connecticut Department of Public Health grant-funded initiatives awarded to EdAdvance, visited the State Capitol on Monday, March 18, 2018 for Tobacco Free Student Advocacy Day. Tobacco Free Advocacy Day presented a critical opportunity for students to speak directly with state legislators and gain support for statewide changes to promote healthy, tobacco-free policies across their communities. 

The Northwestern CT Partnership for Tobacco Free Communities and Western CT Alliance for Tobacco Free Communities programs focus on youth and young adult tobacco use prevention and advocacy in western Connecticut. State Representative Michelle Cook (Torrington) and several legislative aides joined students for the morning advocacy session. A key message of the student presentations was support for passage of Tobacco 21 (T21) legislation in the state, which would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 from the current age of 18. Additional concerns voiced were the dramatic increase in use of electronic cigarettes and vaping among youth, and the addition of candy-like flavorings in tobacco products that promote tobacco initiation by youth.

EdAdvance’s current Tobacco Free Communities activities include: youth leadership development and advocacy training, collaborating with community and official agencies to restrict access to tobacco products in retail outlets and increase tobacco free outdoor spaces, facilitating access to community-based tobacco cessation services, and organizing high impact community events that advocate for tobacco free living.

Tobacco Free Communities Projects students were also recently involved in the 2nd Annual NCPN (Northwest Corner Prevention Network) Wellness Fair at Housatonic Valley Regional High School.

For more information about EdAdvance’s Tobacco Free Communities Programs in northwest and western CT, contact Abby Peklo, Director of Student & Community Programs at peklo@edadvance.org or 860.567.0863 x166

Student advocates at the State Capitol.

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