Student named Tobacco Resistance Unit Advocate of the Year

Hatboro-Horsham School District  |  Posted on

Anastasia Groden

Hatboro-Horsham High School junior Anastasia Groden, 16, is the Tobacco Resistance Unit (TRU) Advocate of the Year. TRU is a movement throughout Pennsylvania to prevent and stop youth tobacco use. Funded by a grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Health, TRU is managed by the Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco (PACT) and the American Lung Association in Philadelphia.
“This award really made me feel like my voice as an advocate has truly been heard and the work I’ve been doing really matters,” said Groden.

This year’s Day at the Capitol was held virtually on May 4 and TRU members met with legislators across Pennsylvania to discuss the dangers of tobacco use. The event highlighted the importance of Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) funding to continue educational tobacco programs, as well as the Comprehensive Clean Indoor Air Act, which is an updated version of the Clean Indoor Air Act. The updated act would include e-cigarettes and remove all loopholes that businesses exploit to allow smoking indoors.

TRU members participated in a message board, a Clean Indoor Air Act coloring activity, a “Raising the Bar” graph activity. They also wrote emails to legislators and spoke in a community forum.
During the forum, Groden gave a speech about the impact of MSA funding and how it relates to TRU’s educational resources. “TRU has been working to create educational resources for students on how to quit tobacco use and educate on how to help students struggling with nicotine addiction,” said Groden. “The MSA funding is what allows TRU to make these resources and distribute them to schools.”

Groden plans to work with TRU throughout her senior year and join their alumni program after she graduates. “The work TRU is doing is so incredibly important and I am so lucky to be a part of this group. I cannot wait to continue my work with them in the future,” she said.