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

Okeechobee County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 2, Issue 4 / October-December, 2013
Okeechobee County Students Working Against Tobacco Share Their Experiences with the Local Legislative Delegation
October 4, 2013

     On October 4, 2012, representatives from the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Chapter in Okeechobee County participated in the 2013 Okeechobee County State Legislative Delegation Meeting.
     This annual meeting gives local constituents a chance to share their experiences with their representatives in the Florida Legislature. The Okeechobee Legislative Delegation consists of Senator Denise Grimsley, and Representative Cary Pigman.
     The Okeechobee SWAT chapter was represented by four members: Nathan Ochoa, Carly Enfinger, Anna Warren and Fabiola Guzman. This was the first opportunity for each of these students to speak in front of the Delegation. During their speech, the students highlighted just a few of the SWAT and Partnership activities.
Courtney Moyett Joins the Quit Doc Team as the Tobacco Prevention Specialist in Okeechobee County
December 18 , 2013

     The Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation recently named Courtney Moyett as the Tobacco Prevention Specialist of Okeechobee County, filling the void left by the departure of Candace Pope. Courtney will also be responsible for facilitating the Tobacco Free Partnership of Okeechobee County, a coalition of community leaders working together on tobacco issues that affect the residents of Okeechobee County, particularly its most vulnerable residents: youth and senior citizens.
     Courtney will have big shoes to fill! Her predecessor, Candace Pope, has built an amazingly strong coalition in Okeechobee County during her 18 months with Quit Doc. Candace recently resigned for personal reasons, but she intends to remain active on tobacco prevention issues in Okeechobee County as a member of the Tobacco Free Partnership. Before stepping down from her position, Candace actively recruited Courtney to fill the position to make sure that there was a smooth transition.
     "I am very excited to become Quit Doc’s newest team member for Okeechobee County," said Courtney. "During the last year, I have worked as a community partner with Candace Pope, which will make for an exciting and smooth transition. I am well rooted in Okeechobee County, spending the majority of my time volunteering for many non-profits, which will make it easy for me to hit the ground running. I look forward to continuing the education, prevention, and treatment of tobacco in my community."
Nearby Communities in Martin, Indian River Counties Pass New Rules to Reduce Youth Access to Electronic Cigarettes
November 25, 2013

     Recently, there has been a flurry of activity in neighboring Martin and Indian River Counties to reduce youth access and exposure to electronic nicotine delivery devices such as electronic cigarettes.
     On October 22, 2013, the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance creating rules on the marketing and sale of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) that are comparable to the rules in place for other tobacco products.  You can read more about the Indian River County ordinance here.
     On November 13, 2013 the City Council of Sebastian, Florida voted 4-1 to pass an ordinance regulating the sale, marketing, and use of electronic cigarettes throughout the city.  The ordinance prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under the age of 18, places the products behind the counter requiring retailer-assisted sales, and restricts the use of e-cigarettes in public places where smoking is already banned. You can read more about Sebastian ordinance here.
     On November 19, 2013 the City Council of Vero Beach, Florida voted unanimously to pass an ordinance to reduce youth access to electronic cigarettes.  The Vero Beach ordinance prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under the age of 18, and places the products behind the counter requiring retailer-assisted sales. You can read more about the Vero Beach ordinance here.
     Finally, on November 25, 2013 the City Commission of Stuart, Florida voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under the age of 18, places the products behind the counter requiring retailer-assisted sales, and bans the use of the devices in places where traditional tobacco is currently banned under the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act.  You can read more about the Stuart ordinance here.
      For information on the issue of electronic cigarettes, visit the Tobacco Prevention Network of Florida.

Pasco County Teachers’ Union Won’t Be Blowing Smoke Over Tobacco-Free Campuses
by Tom Jackson

     Life’s surest lesson, introduced the moment we leave the womb, is this: Everything is a negotiation.
     Infants learn when they cry big people will deliver food, a fresh diaper or cuddling in exchange for silence. Later on, we hone our skills to get better deals on household chores, curfews, birthday presents, cars, even the size of our college funds.
     We are never powerless when we know we have something the other party wants, as abundantly demonstrated by Mahatma Gandhi’s application of passive resistance to win India’s independence from the British empire.
     Understanding this explains our complete lack of surprise when, last week, the union representing Pasco school employees rejected a speedy invitation to discuss making all the district schools tobacco-free zones.
     Just now, Pasco schools built before 1996 must provide an outdoor smoking compound, shielded from students’ view, where employees can indulge their stinky, unhealthy habit.
New York City Mayor Signs Bill Raising Age for Tobacco Buys
By David B. Caruso, Associated Press

     NEW YORK -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has signed a bill banning the sale of tobacco products to anyone under age 21, making New York the first large city or state in the country to prohibit sales to young adults.
     During a bill-signing ceremony Tuesday, Bloomberg said the law will help prevent young people from experimenting with tobacco at the age when they are most likely to become addicted
     City health officials say 80 percent of smokers start before age 21.
     City health officials hope that raising the legal purchase age from 18 to 21 will lead to a big decline in smoking rates in a critical age group. A majority of smokers get addicted to cigarettes before age 21, and then have trouble quitting, even if they want to do so.
Florida Gulf Coast University Faculty Senate Votes to Support Ban on Tobacco Products on Campus
By Kristine Gill

     NAPLES -- Neuroscience professor Martha Rosenthal was working on a textbook about drugs, society and behavior this year when the chapter on smoking struck her.
     "I thought, ‘Oh my god, how is this drug legal?’" said Rosenthal, who is writing for the Oxford University Press. "I mean, I knew all this stuff, but putting it all together in one chapter hit me."
     So last month, the Florida Gulf Coast University professor brought her concerns to a meeting of the Faculty Senate and suggested the body prohibit smoking campus wide.
     Faculty Senate voted Friday, 20 to 6, to support a ban on tobacco and smokeless tobacco products, following suit with several other state higher education institutions. The vote doesn’t change existing policies on the campus, but the senate’s formal approval can now be taken to the administration for consideration. Student government is also expected to take a stance.
E-Cigarettes Gain Attention in Schools Amid Rise in Popularity
By Donna St. George

     When a teacher noticed what looked like smoke rising in her Eastern Middle School classroom one day this fall, she quickly investigated, finding an eighth-grade boy holding an e-cigarette.
     The “smoke” was vapor, but for Casey B. Crouse, principal at the Silver Spring school, the episode was the first signal of what she would learn is a troubling teen trend nationally: An increasing number of students using electronic devices that simulate tobacco smoking.\
     E-cigarettes are beginning to show up in the hallways of the nation’s middle schools and high schools. Just as health officials have begun to debate their potential dangers and school districts have started to pay attention to them, educators are grappling with how to deal with students who are found puffing on e-cigarettes while at school.
E-Cigarette Ban for Minors Backed by Florida Senate Committee
Jim Turner, The News Service pf Florida

     TALLAHASSEE -- With the slim metal tubes becoming a trendy alternative to regular cigarettes, a Senate committee Thursday approved a bill that would prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.
     The Senate Regulated Industries Committee unanimously supported a proposal (SB 224) by Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, R–Ft. Myers, that would add nicotine dispensing devices to the state's prohibition on the sale of tobacco products to people under age 18. The bill also would make it illegal for minors to possess such electronic cigarettes and products.
     "I think it's a very good bill too, it's probably something we've missed in the past," said Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice.
     The bill has the support of the Florida Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
     Brenda Olsen, chief operating officer for the American Lung Association of the Southeast, said her organization also supports the measure but wants the language of the bill to recognize the product in the same manner as cigarettes and other tobacco products.
'Emerging' Tobacco Products Gaining Traction Among Young, CDC Survey Finds
By Tom Watkins, CNN

     (CNN) -- The percentage of middle-school and high-school students using so-called emerging tobacco products is increasing even as their rate of tobacco use in general is remaining relatively constant, federal scientists reported Thursday.
     Last year, 6.7% of middle-school students and 23.3% of high-school students said in a survey reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that they had used a tobacco product at least once in the previous 30 days.
     Last year's overall rate of tobacco use differs little from what it was in 2011, when 7.5% of middle school students and 24.3% of high school students said they had used a tobacco product.

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