On March 19th, The 84 Movement took part in the 19th annual Kick Butts Day. Thirty-one Chapters comprised of almost 200 youth and adults from across the state traveled to Boston to participate in the national day of youth activism.
The 84 youth rallied at the opening ceremony in Cathedral Church of St. Paul before marching through the Boston Common to the Massachusetts State House and tell legislators that Big Tobacco targets youth.
The messages Chapters delivered to their legislators centered around one of the tobacco industry’s newest products to attract youth: e-cigarettes. Youth explained that the FDA does not regulate e-cigarettes and a significant portion of the state lacks regulations to create a minimum purchase age for e-cigarettes. A Statewide Leadership Team member told a shocking story of a friend whose 8-year-old brother walked into a convenience store and asked to buy an e-cigarette; in fact, he could due to the lack of regulation in that town.
The day was filled with passion from both youth and adult allies to reduce Big Tobacco’s influence in communities around Massachusetts. Numerous legislators and public health leaders spoke of their personal connections to this issue and applauded The 84 youth for the extraordinary work they do around the state in tobacco prevention.