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Schools: We Are Combating Underage Smoking

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Two hookah bars on the East Side of Providence may be letting minors in to smoke—but not if two nearby schools can help it, officials told GoLocalProv yesterday.

The Wheeler School and Moses Brown said they were aware of the problem and were taking steps to curtail underage smoking.

“The Wheeler School has an established health curriculum for its students — and resources for its parents — that certainly includes age-appropriate information about the dangers of smoking,” said Laurie Flynn, the director of publications and public relations at The Wheeler School.

Her counterpart at Moses Brown personally did not know that hookah bars were serving minors, but she said the school nurse and dean of students had heard about it from students. “We are sorry to hear that there is a hookah bar down the street that would serve underage students,” said Sandi Seltzer, the director of communications at the school.

A GoLocalProv undercover investigation found that two hookah bars on Meeting Street—Zenobia and Providence Byblos—were serving water pipes with tobacco to minors.

The two bars are blocks away from The Wheeler School and Moses Brown.

Seltzer noted that the school has not had any recent disciplinary issues involving students and smoking.

“To be honest with you, we are happy you are doing the story,” Seltzer said. “If somebody has served underage students something illegal and you are highlighting it … I think that is helpful.”


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