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Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County
227 US 27 North, #208, Sebring, Florida 33870

Highlands County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 4, Issue 2 / Apr - June, 2015
The Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County Wraps Up Another Successful Year!
June 10 , 2015

     The Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County held its final meeting for the fiscal year in May and has so much to look forward to with the new fiscal year right around the corner.
     The Partnership currently has 17 members and meets once per quarter, however, that will soon be changing.  Partnership members have decided to add additional meetings to the calendar and meet every month, rather than quarterly. “I think this will benefit the partnership in many ways,” says Amanda John, Tobacco Prevention Specialist. "Not only will it increase exposure in the community, but it will also increase participation and membership, something the Partnership needs more of!” This new schedule will begin in August with the meetings being the second Wednesday of every month.
     During the past year the Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County has been very busy promoting tobacco-free initiatives in the community. There have been numerous presentations to various organizations on Point of Sale Advertising, Flavored Tobacco, the K-12 Tobacco Control Model, Smoke Free Multi Unit Housing and Employee Cessation.

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Highlands County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Celebrate World No Tobacco Day
May 31, 2015

     The Highlands County SWAT Chapter has done an outstanding job this quarter, and is ending this school year with a bang by celebrating World No Tobacco Day.
     The SWAT Clubs at Avon Park Middle School, Hill Gustat Middle School, Lake Placid Middle School, and Avon Park Middle School made posters to hang in the cafeteria and other high traffic areas in the schools. They also took pictures in front of them and posted them to their social media accounts with their own clever World No Tobacco Day hashtags. The students were excited about this because it caused quite the buzz with students all over campus the following day, and gave SWAT members the opportunity to promote SWAT and bring attention to the purpose of World No Tobacco Day.
     “I love seeing the students get so pumped about raising awareness to their peers. We are so lucky in Highlands County to have some of the most positive and inspirational students around and the SWAT Chapter is stronger because of it,” said Amanda John, Tobacco Prevention Specialist in Highlands County. “ I am sad to see this year come to an end, but looking forward to learning new things over the summer to make the Highlands County SWAT Chapter even stronger in the Fall!

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Why School Tobacco Policy Matters
By Tracy DeCubellis, April 28, 2015

     The topic of tobacco use in schools has been important for popular culture and academic research throughout the years.  Rock and Roll songs about smoking in school and movies showing rebellious teens smoking on campus are part of public perception about school tobacco use.  Since Brownsville Station observed back in 1973, “everybody knows that smoking ain’t allowed in school,” why does it still happen?  That is what researchers want to know.
     A recent look at school tobacco policies in Michigan and how they affect student smoking had some interesting results as reported in the Journal of School Health.
     There is a statewide initiative in Michigan that encourages schools to create a 24/7 tobacco policy that covers on and off-campus activities and applies to all students, staff, and visitors.  This is similar to the school policy being encouraged in Florida through the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida.  Using the Michigan Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the researchers looked at data reported by students. They also looked at data from 14 schools using the Michigan School Health Profiles report.  The study also looked at individual and school-based variables that they thought would influence student tobacco use.
     The results of the study showed that some school policies are indeed correlated with lower student tobacco use.  The findings suggest that schools should create a school-wide anti-tobacco message and culture.  This could include being sure students know the school tobacco policy, as well as giving students the message only a small percentage of adults actually use tobacco.
Port St. Lucie Outlaws Use of E-Cigarettes in Public Places Where Traditional Smoking is Banned
Nicole Rodriguez
May 11, 2015


     PORT ST. LUCIE — Powering on electronic cigarettes is now illegal in public places where smoking traditional cigarettes is prohibited.
     The City Council on Monday unanimously approved a new law banning the use of e-cigarettes in places such as restaurants, stores and theaters.
     The law also bans the sale of e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine to minors. Retailers also are prohibited from selling or displaying e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine for sale by self-service – a provision of the law that mirrors state statutes.
     Violations are punishable by up to a $500 fine. Business owners must enforce the law in their establishments or face the same fine, the law states.
     E-cigarettes, also known as vape pens, heat liquid nicotine and other chemicals and flavors into an aerosol that’s inhaled by users. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed regulating e-cigarettes as tobacco products, but it’s unclear when or if that will happen. The FDA gained the authority in 2009 to regulate cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
CDC: Smoking Rates Continue to Drop in Many States
. HealthDay

     Cigarette smoking continues to decline in about half of American states, according to the latest U.S. government estimates.
     But despite that good news, rates have gone up in some states. And in other states, a more worrisome trend has emerged -- people using a combination of tobacco products, such as cigarettes plus smokeless tobacco, officials said.

     "From 2011 to 2013 although we've seen some progress for cigarette smoking overall, there hasn't been a significant change in cigarette smoking or smokeless tobacco use across many states," said Brian King, acting deputy director for research translation in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking and Health.
     "What is most concerning is the preponderance of dual use -- people using multiple tobacco products," King said. "That's concerning because we know that dual users have a higher level of nicotine dependence and they are also less likely to quit."
     Smoking declined across the nation from 21 percent of adults in 2011 to 19 percent in 2013, according to the report.
    
Among states, however, vast differences in smoking rates exist, researchers said. In fact, in 2013, rates varied from a low of 10 percent in Utah to a high of 27 percent in West Virginia.
     For smokeless tobacco, rates also varied widely in 2013. Only 1.5 percent of people used smokeless tobacco in the District of Columbia and Massachusetts, but more than 9 percent of people in West Virginia did, the researchers found.
     From 2011-2013, cigarette smoking declined in 26 states. But smokeless tobacco use declined in only two states, Ohio and Tennessee.
Broward College to Become Smoke-Free Campus
May 18, 2015

     DAVIE, Fla. (WSVN) -- The Broward College Board of Trustees has approved a policy to make the college a tobacco and smoke free campus.
     Beginning Monday, Aug. 24, smoking or use of tobacco products, objects or devices, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic cigars or smokeless tobacco products will be prohibited on all Broward College campuses and centers.
     In a statement released by the college, Brenda Bordogna, Broward College's employee wellness program manager said, "Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in this country. Adopting a tobacco and smoke-free policy is our commitment as an institution of higher education to provide a safe and healthy environment for the college community to learn, work and visit," she said.
     The ban includes spaces inside buildings, administrative facilities or anywhere on campus grounds, such as sidewalks, athletic fields and parking lots or garages.
     To help staff and students through the transition, onsite tobacco cessation programs will be offered through a partnership with Nova Southeastern University's Area Health Education Centers program, which will train and use Broward College's RN-BSN nursing students as smoking cessation facilitators.
Dr. Manny: Are e-cigarettes safe during pregnancy?
By Dr. Manny Alvarez
May 26, 2015


     "Are e-cigarettes safe during pregnancy?"
     As an OB-GYN, I get this question constantly. Especially from women who want to quit smoking during pregnancy, or who smoked in the past and may want to try e-cigarettes as a way to get the nicotine fix they still crave.
     But before we hit on e-cigarettes, let’s recall some facts about the dangers of smoking.
     When you see a commercial about the need to quit cigarettes, what do you usually see? A person who has been severely disfigured as a result of their smoking – someone who has lost limbs or undergone open heart surgery. Or a person left disfigured by operations to save them from throat or mouth cancer. At the end of the commercial, you see a graphic that says, “Smoking causes immediate damage to your body.”
     And not only does smoking cause immediate damage – but it also causes long-term damage to your blood vessels, which can last for years after you quit.
     Now, what can smoking do to a pregnancy? The risk factors for infants born to mothers who smoke can include low birth weight and learning disabilities. Smoking also carries the risk of miscarriage, preterm labor and even stillbirth.
     How does smoking lead to all of these atrocities? Nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes have numerous negative effects on the small blood vessels of the placenta. The placenta is the organ responsible for bringing oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the baby during pregnancy – think of it as the baby’s lungs and lifeline in the womb.

 
Tobacco Industry Picks Up Tailwind as Smoker Suits Dealt Setback
 
Hawaii May Be the First to Raise its Smoking Age to 21

April 27, 2015


     Alarmed at the growing popularity of e-cigarettes among high school students, Hawaii lawmakers approved a bill Friday preventing anyone under 21 from buying tobacco products or using them in public places.
     The measure would make Hawaii the first state in the nation to raise the smoking age to 21, joining dozens of local jurisdictions that have enacted similar restrictions. Just last year, New York City made it illegal for anyone under 21 to buy tobacco products, as did Hawaii County (which contains Hawaii’s largest island).
The federal government enforces a minimum smoking age of 18, and in some states it is 19. California, New Jersey, Washington and Utah have all considered increasing their smoking ages, but none of the bills have gotten as far as in Hawaii, where the proposal awaits the governor’s signature.
     Gov. David Ige (D) said Friday that he is thinking about whether to let the bill become law.
     In 2011, about five percent of Hawaiian high school students said they had tried e-cigarettes, which produce an inhalable mist of liquid containing nicotine and flavoring. By 2013, that number had more than tripled to 17 percent, according to the latest data from Hawaii’s department of health.
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