Tobacco Free Partnership of Okeechobee County
PO Box 1595
Okeechobee, FL  34973 

Okeechobee County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 2, Issue 2 / April - June, 2013
City of Okeechobee Passes Resolution to Restrict
the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products
May 7, 2013

     On May 7, 2013, members of the Okeechobee City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution urging retailers to halt the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products that are marketed to youth.
     The resolution is designed to give retailers some guidance regarding flavored tobacco products that are not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
     "While the FDA banned the sale of all flavored cigarettes except menthol in 2009," said Dr. Barry Hummel, co-founder of the Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation, "the FDA has not taken any specific steps regarding the sale of flavored cigars, spit tobacco, and electronic cigarettes. The FDA does have the authority to regulate these products, and is currently collecting information to determine the specific rules. This makes local action such as this important until the FDA issues its final guidelines."
SWAT Students from North Florida and Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation Produce a Short Film on the Issue of Flavored Tobacco Products that Target Youth 
April 24, 2014 

     Students from six counties in North Central Florida joined forces to write and produce "Who is the Target", a short film that focuses on the use of flavored products as a youth marketing strategy by tobacco companies.
     The Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation helped produce the film, setting up a temporary studio at their office in Ocala, Florida. The staff converted a spare office by suspending a simple blue screen from the ceiling. "It is the same technique used by your local weatherman," said Dr. Barry Hummel, who directed the film. "It allows us to put graphic information behind the students during the editing process to reinforce each point they are trying to make."
     Fourteen students from Alachua, Clay, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy, and Marion Counties were asked to contribute facts and information on the issue of flavored tobacco products that are not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The students then recorded the information at the make-shift studio.
Click Here to watch "Who is the Target?"
Holy E-Smokes! Some Businesses Allow Vaping Cigarettes in Workplace
By Tracy X. Miguel
     NAPLES â€” Where there’s smoking, there’s not always firing in the workplace.
     That’s because employees aren’t actually smoking on the job in some cases — they’re vaping.
     With the growing trend of electronic cigarettes, a few Southwest Florida businesses are allowing vaping in the workplace. Safety Harbour Insurance Inc., which serves Lee and Collier counties, allows its employees to e-puff away at work.
     â€œWe absolutely love it,” said manager Candace Nichols, who has been using e-cigarettes for nearly a year after smoking tobacco cigarettes for 13 years. “It cuts back on the extra break time, so we are able to be more productive within the business.”
President Obama's Cigarette Tax Up in Smoke
By Reid J. Epstein
     Remember the cigarette tax hike President Barack Obama proposed in his big budget rollout?
     The White House barely does.
     Presidential budgets are all about theater. But this year’s was more theatrical than most: Its biggest single new proposal — the sin tax to generate $78 billion to fund a preschool education program — vanished almost as soon as Obama announced it four weeks ago Wednesday.
     The president hasn’t mentioned it. The White House didn’t coordinate with outside anti-smoking groups. Tobacco companies never worried about putting together a lobbying strategy to kill it.
Wakulla County Continues Fight Against Flavored Tobacco
By Garin Flowers
    Wakulla County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday in favor of an ordinance making it harder for kids to purchase flavored tobacco.
     It means stores in that area must now put tobacco in places not easily seen by children or teens.
     The ordinance passed was a response to one commissioners had to rescind that passed previously.
     They feared the previous ordinance, which banned stores from selling tobacco products unless they were a 21-and-up establishment, would cause lawsuits against the county.

How The Tobacco Industry May Have Evaded FDA Ban On 'Light' Cigarette Descriptors
     New research from Harvard School of Public Health (HPSH) shows that one year after the federal government passed a law banning word descriptors such as "light," "mild," and "low" on cigarette packages, smokers can still easily identify their brands because of color-coding that tobacco companies added to "light" packs after the ban. These findings suggest that the companies have, in effect, been able to evade the ban on misleading wording - thus still conveying the false and deceptive message that lights are safer than "regular" cigarettes.
     In addition, the companies failed to apply for applications to have these products approved as "new products" as called for by the law.
City Plan Sets 21 as Legal Age to Buy Tobacco
By Anemona Hartocollis
     NEW YORK - The age to legally buy cigarettes in New York City would rise to 21 from 18 under a proposal that officials unveiled on Monday, a measure that would give New York the strictest limits of any major American city.
     The proposal would make the age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products the same as for purchasing liquor, but it would not prohibit people under 21 from possessing or even smoking cigarettes.
     It is the latest effort in a persistent campaign to curb smoking that began soon after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office, with bans on smoking in restaurants and bars that expanded more recently to parks, beaches, plazas and other public places.
Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Tobacco Warnings
By Sam Baker 

      The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up tobacco companies' lawsuit against new rules requiring them to display large, graphic warnings on cigarette packages.
     The court declined to hear a case challenging the graphic warnings — along with other sections of a landmark 2009 tobacco law.
     The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case leaves in place a lower court's decision upholding most of the tobacco law, including its requirement for graphic warning images on cigarette packs.
     The 2009 law requires tobacco companies to cover half of their packaging with a graphic warning about the risks of smoking.
Read Dr. Barry Hummel's Blog
Copyright © 2013 Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation, All rights reserved.
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