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Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County
2230 NE HWY 70, Arcadia, FL 34266

DeSoto County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 3 / Oct - Dec, 2014
Quitting Tobacco is the Best New Year’s
Resolution You Can Make!

By Whitney Browning, DeSoto County Tobacco Prevention Specialist
December 4, 2014

     As the holiday season approaches, we often reflect on ways that we can improve ourselves as we prepare to turn the page on another year.  For tobacco users, this often provides the extra motivation necessary to make a successful quit attempt.
     It is no secret that there are many health risks associated with smoking; cancer, heart disease, and lung disease just to to name a few. However, another health risk is constantly used as a reason to smoke: stress.
     For a smoker, nicotine depletion enhances feelings of irritability and tension. When this happens, the body is creating signals of stress because it is experiencing withdrawal symptoms. When you smoke to relieve stress, you are not only creating more stress in your body, but also a habit that will associate smoking with stressful situations. This increases your addiction to nicotine both mentally and physically.
     “Realizing that nicotine doesn’t relieve stress but actually causes stress can be a hard thing for smokers to get their heads around,” said Dr. Barry Hummel, Co-Founder of the Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation, which manages the Tobacco Free Florida Program in DeSoto County. “Once smokers realize nicotine makes it harder to deal with their day-to-day stress… that they have always had the inner strength to handle stress on their own… they have a much easier time overcoming their addiction.”
Local Businesses Recognize the Annual
Great American Smoke Out

November 20 , 2014

     On Thursday November 20, the Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto teamed up with the Arcadia Housing Authority and Transpower Construction Services, Inc., to promote tobacco cessation resources to employees by recognizing the annual Great American Smoke Out.
     Postcards were created with the special message to “Trust the Quitter in You,” and encouraged employees to utilize the three free and easy ways to quit offered by Tobacco Free Florida. These postcards were mailed out to the employees. Becky Sue Mercer, Director of the Arcadia Housing Authority, said that the postcards would also most likely be mailed out to tenants as well, to broaden the scope of the message to more than just the employees.
     Whitney Browning, Tobacco Prevention Specialist for DeSoto, agreed. ”When the message is something as important as encouraging people to quit using tobacco, it is just wonderful when it can be extended to reach more than just the intended audience.”
Gainesville, FL Bans E-Cigarettes in Places Where Regular Smoking is Forbidden
November 20, 2014

     The Gainesville City Commission officially approved an ordinance prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in places where smoking is already forbidden on Thursday, joining Alachua County and other local municipalities in enacting such restrictions.
     E-cigarettes convert liquid nicotine into vapor through a process referred to as vaping. The commission gave the second of two required approvals to the ordinance Thursday.
     Under the new measure, the city’s pre-existing ban on outdoor smoking at city facilities or Regional Transit System bus stops and bus shelters is extended to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in those spots as well.
     Additionally, the new ordinance imposes regulations against using e-cigarettes in any place where smoking is forbidden under state law.
     The city’s e-cigarette measure is similar to an ordinance the Alachua County Commission approved in December 2013, which prohibited using e-cigarettes in certain nonsmoking areas within the unincorporated county and also forbade selling them to minors.
     Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature also approved a bill, which has since become law, prohibiting selling e-cigarettes to minors.
New CDC Youth Tobacco Survey Should Spur FDA to Finalize Rule Regulating All Tobacco Products, Including E-Cigarettes and Cigars
November 13 2014

     WASHINGTON, DC – The
2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey released by the CDC shows that while youth cigarette smoking continues to decline, electronic cigarette use among high school students tripled from 2011 to 2013 and there has been no progress in reducing youth cigar smoking.
     These findings underscore the urgent need for the Food and Drug Administration to finalize its proposed rule to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars, in order to prevent youth use of these products. We again call on the FDA to issue a final rule by April 25, 2015 – one year after the FDA issued a proposed rule – and to close gaps in the rule by cracking down on marketing and flavors that appeal to kids. The FDA first announced in early 2011 that it planned to regulate e-cigarettes, cigars and other unregulated tobacco products, so these important public health protections are long overdue. We cannot afford more delays that allow the tobacco industry to continue targeting our kids with a new generation of unregulated tobacco products.
     The FDA currently regulates cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco under a landmark 2009 law, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. But the FDA must assert jurisdiction over other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars, before it can regulate them, which is what the proposed rule would do.

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Florida Leads Nation in Fewest Teenage Smokers
Gemima Rosier, Alligator Contributing Writer
November 13, 2014


     After slashing teen smoking rates by more than 50 percent within 14 years, Florida is now home to the lowest percentage of high school smokers in the nation.
     At the turn of the century, about 15.7 percent of state high school students said they had smoked a cigarette at least once within 30 days, according to a study conducted by Florida Health and Tobacco Free Florida. This year only 7.5 percent of high schoolers said the same — the lowest in the country.
     “Smoking is the No. 1 preventative cause of death, usually in the form of heart disease or cancer,” said Andrew Romero, a health policy specialist at Tobacco Free Alachua.
     One-fifth of U.S. deaths are due to smoking, Romero said, which adds up to about 443,000 a year.
     This week, the largest national youth smoking-prevention campaign, “truth,” released the first of eight nationwide commercials, which showcased Florida’s low teen-smoking rate.
     Robin Koval, the CEO and president of Legacy — the national public health foundation that directs and funds “truth” — said the campaign first launched in August and aims to empower teens against tobacco use.
     “We want to remind them that their generation has the power to accelerate the decline in youth smoking and even end it for good,” Koval said in an emailed statement.
CVS's Cigarette Ban Appears To Have Boosted Sales
November 4, 2014

     CVS's move to
ban cigarette sales earlier this year seems to be paying off.
     Revenue jumped 9.7 percent in CVS' latest quarter from the same period a year ago, the company, which has rebranded itself as CVS Health, reported on Tuesday. That was due in part to a nearly 16-percent gain in revenue for CVS's pharmacy services, which rose to $22.5 billion in the quarter from $19.4 billion a year earlier.
     The gain in pharmacy-services revenue helped offset a 4.5-percent year-over-year drop in sales in what is known as the "front of the store" -- where things like magazines, candy, greeting cards and toothpaste are sold -- in stores open a year or more. And that drop was due to the end of cigarette sales, CVS said.
     This all fits into CVS’s grand strategy to rebrand itself as a more healthful company, said Vishnu Lekraj, an analyst who covers CVS for the investment research firm Morningstar.
     CVS's pharmacy services trade, where the 16-percent increase in revenue occurred, is where the company earns big bucks by contracting with large employers and insurance companies to administer prescription-drug coverage. And it can better attract corporate partners with a healthier brand, Lekraj said.
     "They can’t market themselves as a health-care servicer when they’re selling one of the most unhealthy products around,” he said.
Perspective: Chiefland Grads Question 'Big Tobacco' at University of Florida
By Ansley Pentz, Contributing writer
October 23, 2014


     Considering the University of Florida's strong stance against tobacco on campus, some students there are questioning why "big tobacco" was invited to speak Sept. 22.
     The meeting with tobacco company Altria, which owns companies such as Marlboro and Skoal, took place in UF’s Hough Hall, the new building for business graduate students, and was publicized by faculty in the business college and the Career Resource Center (CRC). Students who signed up for the CRC’s emails were invited to the event on Tuesday, Sept. 16.
     “Smoking is just so bad for you,” said Mark Tolentino, the 2011 Chiefland High School valedictorian and agricultural operations major at UF. “I don’t think that it’s good, pushing these products on someone, knowing that it wouldn’t be good for their health.”
     Tolentino said that if he worked for Altria, he'd have a hard time sleeping at night.
     Yancey Hudson, an exploratory engineering freshman and 2013 Chiefland High School graduate, said the whole thing smacked of hypocrisy.
     “They take such a public stance on, you know, being smoke free, and not even just smoke free, but totally tobacco free,” Hudson said."The use of cigarettes and other tobacco products on the UF campus, including in parking lots and in vehicles, is not permitted and is in violation of UF policy ...." the college's website asserts, as well as highlighting the services it offers to help students, staff and family quit using tobacco.
Ontario Bans Flavoured Tobacco, Cracks Down on E-Cigarettes
November 24, 2014

     No ifs, ands or butts about it.
     The Ontario government is banning all flavoured tobacco — including menthol — and vaporizing e-cigarettes for teenagers as well as curbing their use throughout the province.
     Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla on Monday unveiled sweeping legislation that treats the unregulated electronic smokes like traditional cigarettes.
     “If young kids see people smoking or ‘vaping,’ they’re more likely to take up smoking or ‘vaping,’” Damerla told a
Queen’s Park news conference.
     “It’s the wild west right now.”
     Under the proposed law, the sale and consumption of e-cigarettes would be banned for anyone under 19 as of Jan. 1, 2016, and their use would restricted to the same places as regular cigarettes.
     Scofflaws would face cash fines. Storeowners selling flavoured tobacco to a minor would see the maximum fine doubled to up to $200,000 — and $600,000 for a corporation that engages in youth sales.
     For selling e-cigarettes to a child or teen, the fines would be up to $100,000 for a shopkeeper and $300,000 for corporate lawbreakers.
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