More than 300 PA Teens and Lung Health Advocates to Rally at Virtual Day at the Capitol Next Week

More than 300 youth and adult lung health and tobacco control advocates from TRU (Tobacco Resistance Unit) and PACT (Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco) from across the state will gather virtually for an interactive Day at the Capitol with legislative visits and an open to the public Community Forum. The event is dedicated to rallying Pennsylvania legislators to maintain level state funding of $13.754 million for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs.

The Day at the Capitol Virtual event kicks off next Tuesday, May 4 with youth advocates and lung champions conducting virtual legislative visits from 9:00 a.m.to noon. The event culminates in an interactive community forum led by lung health experts and youth advocates—with real time write-in questions from attendees and live responses from speakers. The community forum is open to the public.

You can register to attend the Day at the Capitol Community Forum at PACTOnline.org.

VIRTUAL Community Forum speakers includ : Deborah Brown, American Lung Association Chief Mission Officer; Dr. Albert Rizzo, American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer, TRU Advisor & Tobacco & Nicotine Services Coordinator for Erie Department of Health, Paula DiGregory; TRU Youth Ambassador Anastasia Groden, Hatboro-Horsham High School in Horsham, PA; TRU Youth Ambassador Emily Ruggieri, of Laurel Middle/High School in New Castle, PA; TRU Youth Advisor Sophia Thompson of Steel Valley Senior High School in Munhall, PA; and video statements from Representative Bryan Cutler and Senator Jake Corman.

The event will be moderated by Flora Posteraro, Emmy Award winning former TV news anchor/reporter, co-host of Chick2Chick podcast and senior multi-media specialist for PennWatch.org; and followed by a Q&A open to the attending public.

Tobacco use is the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease, taking an estimated 480,000 lives every year.  Teens  are becoming the next generation addicted to tobacco with more than 1 in 5 teens vaping across the U.S.  In Pennsylvania adult smoking rates are 17.3% and high school tobacco use rates are 26.7%, with an estimated 22,020 per year smoking attributable deaths in the state.