Friday, October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

Good afternoon and a very happy Friday!

As a reminder, there is no school on Wednesday, October 9 due to the Yom Kippur.  Classes resume on Thursday.  The following week there is no school on Monday, October 14 due to Columbus Day.

Important Upcoming dates:
10/15-19  Spirit Week
19             Homecoming Dance                                                          7:00 – 9:30 pm

24             NHS Induction                                                                   7:00 – 8:30 pm

News from AHSTS:
Tickets are now on sale for the AHSTS production of Almost, Maine. The production runs Friday, November 1st at 7 PM, Saturday, November 2nd at 7 PM and Sunday, November 3rd at 2 PM.
AHSTS offers online sales up to two hours before show time. AHSTS discounts tickets purchased online (Adults: $11.99, Students/AHSTS Alumni $8.99), Patrons may buy tickets at the door at full price. (Adults: $15, Students and AHSTS Alumni $10) Visit to purchase tickets.
THE STORY: Welcome to Almost, Maine, a place that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States. It’s almost in Canada. And it’s not quite a town, because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it almost doesn’t exist. One cold, clear, winter night, as the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, the residents of Almost, Maine, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.

Important information from Decisions at Every Turn Coalition: 
Our October Coalition meeting will be held on October 17th at 5:30pm at the Ashland Public Library. Dr. Safdar Medina, a pediatrician and Southborough resident, will be part of that program. He will provide some good info about what he is seeing in his patient population and how to support those who are currently vaping and/or trying to quit.
This important information was shared with us from Decisions this week-
Last week, the Governor declared a public health emergency in response to the outbreak of severe lung disease associated with e-cigarettes and vaping products  and the epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth. With the approval of Governor Baker, Commissioner Bharel of DPH issued an Order to pause all sales of e-cigarette and vaping products for four months. Learn more at:

Now is an important time to promote Massachusetts quit vaping/tobacco resources and recognize nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Youth Quit Vaping/Tobacco Resources
  • This is Quitting powered by truth® is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Young people can text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709 to get started.  In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
    • Parents and other adults can also text “QUIT” to 202-899-7550 to sign up to receive text messages designed specifically for parents of vapers.
  • My Life, My Quit has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Young people can call or text "Start My Quit" to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help or visit to sign up online.
  • Visit for tools and tips.
  • Encourage young people to ask their school nurse or counselor, athletic coach, doctor, parent or other trusted adult for help.
  • For more information, young people can visit
  • More information for parents/adults is available at
Adult Quit Vaping/Tobacco Resources
  • You are three times as likely to quit for good with the combination of FDA approved quit smoking medication and counseling.
  • Call the Massachusetts Smokers' Helpline 1-800-QUIT-NOW (7 days per week/24 hours per day, holiday hours may vary) to receive counseling online, by phone or through eChat and at least four weeks of free nicotine patches.
  • The nicotine patch, gum or lozenges, are available over the counter without a prescription. The prescription medications include Chantix, Zyban, inhaler, and spray.
  • Feeling irritable, restless, or jittery
  • Having headaches
  • Increased sweating
  • Feeling sad or down
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling tired or groggy
  • Having trouble thinking clearly or concentrating
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Feeling hungry
  • Having intense cravings for e-cigarettes/tobacco

Other Updates

  • Standing order for Dispensing Nicotine Replacement Therapy Products
    • Commissioner Bharel also issued an order expanding access to federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, over the-counter nicotine replacement therapy products including gum, lozenges and patches, through a statewide Standing Order that facilitates insurance coverage for these products.
    • The Standing Order authorizes licensed pharmacists to dispense medically appropriate nicotine replacement therapy products to a person 18 years or older with proper identification who requires the products in connection with smoking cessation or vaping cessation.  
  • Yesterday legislation to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products in MA was voted favorably out of committee and is in the House and Senate’s Ways and Means Committees.

There’s still much work to do locally. This vaping ban is temporary and does not address all tobacco products. We know that the tobacco and vaping industry has a history of targeting our youth, LGBTQ community, and communities of color. While the pause may help us temporarily protect our communities from vaping, we still have work to do to ensure that we protect our young people and our communities from tobacco and vaping industry tactics, not only now, but also in the months and years to come.  If you are considering supporting any policy changes in your community this year, let me know so I can help your community mobilize.

 Mary Cole, MPH, CHES
Program Coordinator
Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership
Bay State Community Services
1120 Hancock St. Quincy, MA 02169
617.471.8400 x 138

The Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership supports communities’ efforts to lower smoking prevalence and exposure to secondhand smoke; enhance state and local tobacco control efforts by exposing tobacco industry tactics; mobilizing the community to support and adopt evidence-based policies; and changing social norms. Funded by the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, Community Partnerships serve as a resource for local coalitions, health and human service agencies, municipalities, and workplaces on tobacco intervention efforts.

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