Next Era Virtual Day of Action By: Zachary Romero
I’m Zachary Romero, I’ve been a member of Next Era for 2 years now. I am currently a senior at Westgate HS. I hold the group and the initiative close to me for several reasons. Both my parents are smokers, and I see the struggle with addiction daily. From second-hand smoke, smelly cars, and hearing about their health effects.
On May 29th, 2020, my peers and I hosted a national day of action virtual event on Zoom. Our event was for World No Tobacco Day and we invited everyone to join our call, and to enjoy awesome music from Dee1 and Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys. Between and during performances, we shared information with the public about the significance of tobacco-free living and ways people can get help to quit smoking. We shared several links and information in regards to our group and the goals we are working for. Everyone had the opportunity to fill out personal messages of support and voice opinions towards tobacco use in public spaces.
During this event, we were able to tell the public what we have worked for throughout our time with Next Era. Even myself, a member for two years now, learned new things from the event and met pretty significant people. The work put forth by everyone against tobacco use is very important and can’t be left unseen/heard. Too many people are dying from this addiction daily and it’s time for a change. I couldn’t imagine losing a relative or friend to such a nasty addiction. Every new piece of information learned is used in my community and even in my household. With the community’s support and support of lawmakers in our state, we can and will work even harder to achieve our goal of tobacco-free living.