WALTHAM YOUTH SELECTED TO RECEIVE GRANT TO FIGHT BIG TOBACCO
The Waltham Youth and Community Coalition Trailblazers Awarded $2,000 from The 84 Movement
(Waltham, MA) January 10, 2017 - The Trailblazers, a group of the Waltham Youth and Community Coalition, was recently awarded a $2,000 mini-grant from The 84 Movement to research the usage of flavored tobacco products among their peers, raise awareness about flavored products, and reduce the influence of Big Tobacco in their neighborhood. Flavors like cotton candy, watermelon, and strawberry make tobacco products more appealing to young people.
The WYACC Trailblazers are a chapter of The 84 Movement which helps mobilize youth to take action to protect their communities from the influence of the tobacco industry. The grant is awarded to selected youth groups from across the Commonwealth who are committed to fighting the tobacco industry in their neighborhoods and schools. The Waltham Youth and Community Coalition (WYACC) is a project of the Waltham Partnership for Youth focused on supporting a culture of mental health and wellness, free of substance misuse, for Waltham youth.
According to Loretta Mugisa, a 10th-grade Trailblazer who attends Waltham High School, “In our community, Waltham, our work with The 84 can have a tremendous impact on youth. We can help spread awareness and eventually illustrate to the public and local policy makers that flavored tobacco is easily accessible in our neighborhood.”
“Being able to physically show how damaging tobacco is in our community will help convince policy makers that change must happen,” Mugisa continued. “In Waltham, a majority of teens have either seen, smelled, or tried a number of tobacco products. Students in my grade are using tobacco products thinking there’s no real harm. I’m excited to be part of the Trailblazers that are willing to take time to complete great projects like this one.”
The 84 is a program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, developed and managed in partnership with Health Resources in Action.
About the Greater Boston Tobacco Free Community Partnership, a Program of Bay State Community Services
The Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership supports communities’ efforts to lower smoking prevalence and exposure to secondhand smoke; enhance state and local tobacco control efforts by exposing tobacco industry tactics, mobilizing the community to support and adopt evidence-based policies, and changing social norms. Funded by the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention program Community Partnerships serve as a resource for local coalitions, health and human service agencies, municipalities, and workplaces on tobacco intervention efforts.