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Coming Together to Support Tobacco Control

 

On July 7, You’re the Cure advocates and AHA’s coalition partners converged on the John A. Wilson Building to support strengthening tobacco control in the District of Columbia.

The afternoon began with a press conference led by Councilmember Yvette Alexander to promote the Sporting Events Smoking and Smokeless Tobacco Restriction Act which would eliminate smokeless tobacco use in all sports venues in the District. Councilmember Alexander was joined by Councilmember Mary Cheh, You’re the Cure advocate Dr. Carla Williams, representatives from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, as well as 3 youth baseball players from the DC Dynasty team.

Following the press conference, You’re the Cure advocates filled the Council chamber for a joint hearing of the Council’s Health and Judiciary committees. Councilmember Alexander was joined by Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie to consider the sports venues bill, as well as the Prohibition Against Selling Tobacco Products to Individuals Under 21 Act that would raise the minimum tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21 in Washington, DC.

You’re the Cure advocates Gail Mates, Dr. Carla Williams, and Dr. Fredrico Asch represented AHA, sharing their personal stories and expertise while voicing support for both tobacco control measures.

Dr. Asch said: Tobacco use creates social and physical harm to a person and a community. These bills will help to make a dent in the number of youth who smoke and improve the health of District residents.

Ms. Mates said: I am living proof that we should do everything we can to prevent tobacco from being sold to youth. These bills are what the District needs right now and are the next step to take to improve residents’ health.

The Council will begin its annual summer recess shortly, but both bills are expected to be considered in committee following the Council’s return in September

 DC residents can support a higher tobacco purchasing age here.

 DC residents can support getting tobacco out of sports venues here.

AHA staff Claude John and advocate Gail Mates make sure the hearings get social media attention

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<Special thanks to You’re the Cure intern Spencer Davis for development of this blog post>

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