On January 23rd, over 100 You’re the Cure volunteers, survivors, students and teachers gathered in Phoenix for to raise awareness about the growing concerns around youth tobacco use and legislation that would limit youth access to tobacco products. Student groups from Cactus Shadows High School, Chandler High School, Iron Wood High School, and Mingus Union High School were all in attendance. During the event, volunteers met with lawmakers urging support for a package of tobacco control legislation. Below is a quick highlight of the bills included in the package:
Electronic Smoking Devices
- HB 2636 will establish a tobacco retail license (TRL) for the state of Arizona. Communities with strong TRL legislation have significantly lower illegal tobacco sales to youth.
- HB 2637 will correct the definition of tobacco to include electronic smoking devices making all electronic smoking devices subject to the same laws and regulations as other tobacco products.
- HB 2173 will add electronic cigarettes into the Clean Indoor Air laws which will prohibit their use indoors.
- SB 1063 will restrict advertising of tobacco products within 1000 feet of a school or playground.
At the event, we were joined by Representative Blackman, the House Champion for Tobacco to 21 legislation which also would establish a tobacco retail license. Rep. Blackman offered a few inspirational words to the youth in attendance, made them promise to never smoke, and to ask their friends and family to stop smoking.
We were later joined by Victoria Stinson, Chair of the Advocacy Committee, and Emily Mohr from Mingus Union High School. Victoria spoke about her experience advocating with the American Heart Association and why participating in advocacy events was important to her. Emily shared her story and some real-life examples of the disturbing tobacco-use trends she has seen in high school and why she is so passionate about passing legislation that would limit youth access to tobacco products. Both Victoria and Emily highlighted how advocating for strong tobacco control legislation will improve the quality of life of their peers, improve the health of Arizona and could help prevent a peer from ever trying a cigarette. For a quick look at some of the media coverage, please visit here.
During lunch we were joined by legislators. During these meetings we told legislators to move quickly and to support our tobacco package.
A BIG thank you to everyone involved in this wonderful event. It was a great way for us to start conversations with legislators regarding the importance of these tobacco bills just as they start to move through the legislative process. Please remember to regularly visit the action center to stay up-to-date on our campaigns.