Leading health organizations, community groups and 60 young people held a rally on the steps of Sacramento City Hall on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. The rally kicked off the SacKids vs. Big Tobacco campaign that calls for safeguards against a rising public health epidemic—flavored tobacco products including e-cigarettes and menthol-flavored cigarettes. These products are luring youth into a potential lifetime addiction to nicotine. The Sacramento City Council Law and Legislation Committee is expected to consider such protections during its October 23, 2018, hearing.
Menthol and candy-flavored tobacco products are a key part of the tobacco industry’s strategy to bait youth into becoming tomorrow’s addicts. According to a government study, 81 percent of kids who have ever tried tobacco started with a flavored product, and 70 percent of current youth tobacco users have used a flavored tobacco product in the past month. Ending the sale of flavored tobacco products is an issue of both health and social justice. Young people who smoke menthol cigarettes are disproportionately African American, Asian American, LGBT and from low-income communities already significantly impacted by tobacco-related disease. 
San Francisco recently enacted the most comprehensive flavored tobacco sales restrictions in the country after a lengthy and brutal battle against Big Tobacco, which poured nearly $12 million into fighting the historic new law. Now, Big Tobacco is coming to Sacramento to fight similar protections for Sacramento kids who are being drawn by the thousands into nicotine addiction through these flavored “starter kits.” 
Speakers who presented were:
  • Kimberly Bankston Lee, Saving Our Legacy, African Americans for Smoke Free Safe Places 
  • Angelique Ashby, Sacramento City Council Woman
  • Aditi Venkatesh, Tobacco-Free Kids Youth Ambassador 
  • Tim Gibbs, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • Ta Karra “KariJay” Johnson, poet and Sacramento High School graduate
  • Dr. Phillip Gardiner, Co-Chair, African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council
The event was hosted by the local Sacramento Tobacco Prevention Coalition as well as the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Breathe California.
916 802-4033 
About the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council 
Formed in 2008, the AATCLC partners with community stakeholders, elected officials, and public health agencies to inform the national direction of tobacco control policy, practices, and priorities, as they affect the lives of Black American and African immigrant populations. The AATCLC has been at the forefront of decreasing youth access to mentholated and other flavored tobacco products by elevating the regulation of these products on the local, state, and national tobacco. For more information, visit https://www.savingblacklives.org/.
About American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network 
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.
About American Heart Association and American Stroke Association
The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the American Lung Association in California
The American Lung Association in California is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through research, education and advocacy. The Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer, to improve the air we breathe, to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families, and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association in California or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-685-4872) or visit www.lung.org/california
About the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund 
The mission of the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund is to improve health and save lives by reducing tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world. We mount education, advocacy and electoral campaigns in support of public policies that prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.
About Breathe California
Through grassroots education, advocacy and services, Breathe California fights lung disease, advocates for clean air and advances public health in our local communities. Since 1908, we have addressed the most serious health threats of our time through grassroots programs that empower individual, institutional and community change for better breathing and healthier living. We have local offices in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Monterey and Sacramento. Visit us: www.breathecalifornia.org 
About the Saving Our Legacy, African Americans for Smoke-Free Safe Places –The SOL Project
The SOL Project advocates for healthy, smoke-free communities for African Americans and other populations who suffer disproportionately as a result of social conditions and tobacco use. The SOL Project educates key opinion leaders, businesses, community members, educators, lawmakers and non-profits about implementing smoke-free policies that protect people from the hazards of tobacco smoke and electronic smoking device vapor. To learn more or get involved, call 1-800-774-SOUL (7685) or visit www.thesolproject.com.


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