On Tuesday, March 18th, students from La Paz County will take a STAND against tobacco use at the Arizona State Capitol. Students Taking a New Direction (STAND) is organizing their first legislative day on March 18th. More than 250 students from 25 local youth chapters will gather at the State Capitol to showcase their efforts to pass local legislation that promotes smoke free environments.
“We are seeing a downward trend in tobacco use. Right now, 14% of kids under 18 use tobacco. That’s a 30 percent drop in four years,” explained Teen Solutions, the La Paz County chapter of STAND. “Recent news of CVS’s decision to stop carrying tobacco products on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s report is inspiring hope that tobacco use will soon be a memory. While we are making great strides, we are still picking up a lot of cigarette butts in our parks. We have a lot of work to do.”
During the legislative day event, students will meet with their district senators and representatives to discuss local tobacco issues. STAND members will discuss tobacco issues and how each local chapter is working to improve the health and wellness of their local cities and towns. The program will run from 11am to 1pm with a formal presentation beginning at noon on the Senate Lawn with a special guest speaker: former Cardinals football player, Ron Wolfley.
STAND is partnering with the Arizona Attorney General’s Counter Strike Program, Arizonans Concerned about Smoking, The Arizona Chapters of the American Heart Association, American Lung Association and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to highlight the health impacts of tobacco use.
“Tobacco use is the leading cause of death in Arizona,” said La Paz County Teen Solutions. “It’s not just lung cancer but heart disease, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and it can worsen existing health problems.”
The STAND Legislative Day is open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18th, at the Arizona State Capitol, 1700 West Washington, Phoenix AZ 85007.
STAND is a statewide coalition of students ages 13-18 who work with the aim to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use and to urge elected officials at all levels of government to treat cigarettes as hazardous materials by creating regulations for forage, transport, sale and disposal. For more information visit standaz.com.