Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County
227 US 27 North, Sebring, FL  33870

Highlands County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 2 / April - June, 2014
Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Clubs Wrap Up the School Year with Several Activities
June 1 , 2014

     The last few months have been very exciting for the Highlands County SWAT Chapter! There was a new club formed, two very successful recruitment activities, and the celebration of World No Tobacco Day! It can’t get much better than that!
     Lake Placid High School (LPHS) became the newest SWAT Club in Highlands County and is under the direction of Ms. Jill Scott, teacher at the school. Ms. Scott has an excellent relationship with students and staff at LPHS and was able to recruitment several members to kick off the club.  The club held a recruitment activity on May 19th, in conjunction with the 9th grade orientation night, and met numerous incoming freshman that are eager to become a part of SWAT.
“I am thrilled that I’ve been given the opportunity to be the advisor for SWAT,” said Jill Scott. “I just know that you will see great things from this club in the future!”
     Tobacco Prevention Specialist, Amanda John, was also so happy to welcome Ms. Scott as the new SWAT Advisor at Lake Placid High School. “After the first meeting with Jill, I knew she was going to take the SWAT Club at LPHS in the right direction,” said Amanda.
Fair Haven Villages Adopts a Smoke-Free Policy
for Staff and Residents

May 15 , 2014

     Recently, The Tobacco Partnership of Highlands County collaborated diligently with multi-unit housing property, Fair Havens Villages, to successfully implement a smoke-free policy.
     Fair Haven had talked about making the change for quite some time, but never acted upon it. The support that the Partnership provided Fair Havens Villages might have been just the motivation that they needed!
     "I'm glad our property is going smoke free because I can't stand cigarette smoke, and for health issues for employees and residents," Said Katherine Wyse, Resident Service Coordinator of Fair Havens Village, the most recent property to go smoke free in Highlands County.
     For property managers and landlords, smoke-free policies can have economic benefits. More than 80% of Floridians are non-smokers.  Many people who do smoke do not permit smoking in their homes.  Given these numbers, many properties have very successfully marketed their smoke-free policy as an amenity, not a restriction.
Florida Teens Win Top Awards Among
Youth Advocates Working Against Tobacco

May 22 , 2014

     TALLAHASSEE, FL – Magi Linscott, a Santa Rosa County high school student and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) youth advocate, was named the National Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. This is the highest award among the country’s top youth advocates working against tobacco.
     Chandler Ash from Gilchrist County was named the Southern Region Youth Advocate of the Year. Both Florida teens were honored in Washington, D.C., on May 15 along with three other U.S. regional winners and a group winner. More than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders attended the 18th annual gala to recognize these young leaders.
     The Youth Advocates of the Year Awards honor outstanding young people who are among today's most effective leaders in tobacco control. These youth have fought hard to protect their generation from the dangers of tobacco by promoting tobacco prevention legislation, exposing tobacco marketing to kids, and keeping their peers from using tobacco.
     “Magi and Chandler are outstanding leaders in the state’s SWAT movement and among youth advocates across the country,” said Tobacco Free Florida Bureau Chief Shannon Hughes. “Their leadership exemplifies what it means to be a tobacco control activist and their hard work is helping to create a future free of tobacco.”
Watch This Video Featuring Chandler Ash, 2014 South Region Youth Advocate of the Year
Florida Atlantic University Joins the Growing Ranks of Tobacco-Free College Campuses
May 9, 2014

     Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, Florida Atlantic University will implement a tobacco-free policy, which also will prohibit the use of e-cigarettes. In an effort to create a healthier environment for all students, faculty, employees, vendors and visitors at Florida Atlantic University, the use of all tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, smokeless pouches and any other form of loose-leaf, smokeless tobacco) will be prohibited on all FAU campuses. This tobacco free policy will be in effect for all indoor spaces, outdoor locations and within cars on campus.
FAU will become the 24th university in Florida to implement a smoking or tobacco-free policy and the 926th tobacco-free campus location across the nation. There are at least 1,343 colleges and universities nationwide with similar smoking policies. In 2013, FAU launched a Healthy Campus 2020 Initiative to address a variety of health related issues that influence the overall health and wellness of university community members. This initiative is being led by guidelines established by the American College Health Association and tied to national Healthy People 2020 objectives from the Department of Health and Human Services.  
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FDA Proposes to Extend its Tobacco Authority to Additional Tobacco Products, Including E-cigarettes
FDA News Release
April 24, 2014
Inquiries: Jenny Haliski

     As part of its implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act signed by the President in 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed a new rule that would extend the agency’s tobacco authority to cover additional tobacco products.
     Products that would be “deemed” to be subject to FDA regulation are those that meet the statutory definition of a tobacco product, including currently unregulated marketed products, such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, waterpipe (or hookah) tobacco, and dissolvables not already under the FDA’s authority. The FDA currently regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.
     "This proposed rule is the latest step in our efforts to make the next generation tobacco-free," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
     “Tobacco remains the leading cause of death and disease in this country. This is an important moment for consumer protection and a significant proposal that if finalized as written would bring FDA oversight to many new tobacco products,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “Science-based product regulation is a powerful form of consumer protection that can help reduce the public health burden of tobacco use on the American public, including youth.”
Florida Legislature Passes Age Restrictions on Electronic Cigarettes, Liquid Nicotine
May 30, 2014

     TALLAHASSEE — On June 13, 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill that would ban the sale of "nicotine dispensing devices" and liquid nicotine to minors under the age of 18.
     There was some controversy surrounding the bill after the Florida House attempted to ad preemption language preventing local communities from passing local rules to further reduce youth access to all tobacco products. Under Rep. Frank Artiles proposed house bill, all existing local ordinances designed to protect youth from tobacco products were also in danger of being repealed.
     That provision became a sticking point in a back-and-forth on the amendment in the Florida House. During the first reading of the bill on April 22, Rep. Bill Hager (R-Boca Raton) successfully pushed to remove language that would have required all restrictions on e-cigarette sales to come from Tallahassee.
     Several representatives lauded bill sponsor Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, who disagreed with Hager’s amendment but sought a compromise that would allow local regulations on nicotine products, but not e-cigarettes. Artiles argued the local regulations would become overwhelming for e-cigarette vendors.
Children Don’t Belong in Tobacco Fields
By New York Times Editorial Board
May 17, 2014

     A new report from Human Rights Watch paints a grim picture of child labor in the United States, something that most Americans probably believe was banned years ago. Children as young as 7 are working on tobacco farms in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, and many are said to suffer from the symptoms of acute nicotine poisoning.
     There are no good estimates of how many youngsters work on tobacco farms, but Human Rights Watch said it interviewed 140 children, most of whom work alongside their parents, who are migrant farmworkers, during the summer and on weekends. Their stories, some recorded on video, highlight gaping flaws in how America regulates child labor on farms. Under federal laws and regulations, children can work on any farm, not just those owned by their families, outside school hours and in hazardous conditions if their parents let them. And there are no restrictions on how many hours they can work. By contrast, the government has far stricter rules for teenagers who work in retail stores and restaurants.
Five Important Lessons From The Biggest E-Cigarette Study
By Anna Almendrala,
May 14, 2014

     Those colorfully lit e-cigarettes are giving off way more than just "harmless water vapor," according to a comprehensive new study review by UC San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Users could also be inhaling and exhaling low levels of chemicals such as formaldehyde, propylene glycol and acetaldehyde (to name a few), and this secondhand vapor could be a potentially toxic source of indoor air pollution.

     While the levels of the toxins were still much lower compared to conventional cigarette emissions, the findings fly in the face of the e-cigarette industries' claims that the handheld devices are just as safe as any other smoking cessation tool.
     E-cigarettes as we know them today were invented by a Chinese pharmacist, Hon Lik in the early 2000s as a smoking cessation aid. They are handheld nicotine vaporizers that deliver an aerosol made up of nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals to users. It's the chemicals in those vapors that are moving municipalities like Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago and Boston to restrict "vaping" in some way.
Is the World's Most Powerful Military Defenseless Against Big Tobacco?
Michael Mechanic
May 22, 2014

     Suppose you wanted to quit drinking, but all the AA meetings in your town were held in the back of a bar with $2 well drinks?
     That's basically the conundrum the US military faces when it comes to regulating tobacco. Smoking is a drain on the force, physically and financially, and over the years the brass has implemented all sorts of efforts to get soldiers and sailors to avoid it, with some success. But every time military officials make a move to stop offering cheap cigarettes to their personnel, they get shot down by the tobacco industry's allies in Congress. In the latest skirmish, earlier this month, Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee launched a preemptive strike to prevent the Navy from ending tobacco sales on Navy and Marine bases and ships.
     By age, education, demographics, and circumstances (high-stress situations interspersed with long periods of boredom), soldiers are an ideal market for tobacco products, which have historically been sold on military installations and ships for as little as half of what civilians pay. For decades, tobacco lobbyists have worked with friendly legislators to maintain the cheap supply. In the early 1990s, for instance, the industry jumped into action after the commander of the USS Roosevelt declared his ship smoke-free. Two Democratic members of the House Armed Services Committee introduced an amendment to the defense funding bill requiring all ships to sell cigarettes, and the Navy caved.
Read Dr. Barry Hummel's Blog
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