Anti-tobacco advocates voiced their desire to create a tobacco-free generation.
The group gathered at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis today, and speakers including youth advocate Maria Duenas say they want state lawmakers to take action.
“This is a problem that’s been neglected for years,” Duenas says. “It’s about being educated, and that’s what we’re out here doing, trying to educate the community.”
Advocates have pushed for a tobacco tax increase and for lawmakers to raise the legal age from 18 to 21. Both efforts stalled in the statehouse last session.
Another speaker at the small rally and health fair was Republican Representative Tim Brown of Crawfordsville. A retired physician and anti-tobacco advocate, Brown says Indiana tobacco restrictions could have economic benefits.
“We need workers in the state of Indiana, and one of the ways to attract young workers who’re going to stay a lifetime is to say we’re a healthier state,” Representative Tim Brown says.
The event today was an extension of Kick Butts Day, a national day of activism meant to empower youth to reject tobacco.