In November, Samaga Pokharel, a resident of Everett and student leader from Teens in Everett Against Substance Abuse (TEASA), a program of Cambridge Health Alliance in Everett, was one of three facilitators and primary presenters for the Youth Power Summit of The 84 movement. After months of planning and preparation by Pokharel and others, young people from across the state attended the Youth Power Summit virtually, to come together to discuss race and racism in light of tobacco industry targeting. Chapters of The 84 movement shared experiences and worked to feel empowered to speak confidently on racial equity through a variety of small group discussions hosted by young people for young people.
The 84 is a statewide, youth-led, anti-tobacco/vaping movement made up of coalitions, schools, faith-based organizations and community-based organizations. According to The 84’s website, “The 84 represents the 84% of Massachusetts youth who did NOT smoke when the movement began…. The 84 is a program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, developed and managed in partnership with Health Resources in Action.” Learn more about The 84 Movement at the84.org.