By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – City and state leaders gathered at the Meeting Street School on March 29 to celebrate the success of efforts to encourage tobacco-free living and reduce youth access to tobacco products.
“Providence is a leader in a larger national movement to create healthier communities thanks to the work of this campaign,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “We must continue our efforts to ensure that children in our capital city can grow and thrive in an environment that is safe, healthy and free from the harmful effects of tobacco.”
In January, the City Council passed and Mayor Taveras signed and enacted laws in Providence to prevent the sale of non-cigarette fruit- and candy-flavored tobacco products and ban pricing and promotional strategies aimed at lowering the cost of tobacco products, such as buy-one-get-one-free.
“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our children can grow up in a city that is healthy and safe,” said City Council President Michael Solomon. “As elected officials, we have taken proactive steps to protect our youth from initiating the dangerous, addictive habit of tobacco use.”
“I’ve been so impressed by the work of Mayor Taveras, his Substance Abuse Prevention Council, the City Council, the Department of Health, and the entire Tobacco-Free Providence campaign, for their efforts to keep tobacco out of the hands of our children,” said John Kelly, president and CEO of the Meeting Street School. “Protecting our children is a job that all of us take on – as educators, parents, mentors and neighbors. And part of this job includes keeping tobacco out of the hands of our children.”