Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County
1940 10th Avenue, Suite C3
Vero Beach, Florida, 32960

Indian River County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 2, Issue 4 / October-December, 2013
Indian River Medical Center Celebrates the Great American Smoke Out by Becoming a Tobacco-Free Campus
November 21, 2013

     Indian River Medical Center (IRMC) became a tobacco-free campus November 21, 2013, coinciding with the annual Great American Smoke Out Day.
     Working with CEO Jeff Susi and the Executive Management Team, members of the Tobacco Free Task Force planned strategies for an entire year to set policy, provide cessation services, and implement procedures for a tobacco free campus.
     For the health of employees, patients, and visitors, smoking or the use of any tobacco product is not allowed in any IRMC buildings or on any IRMC owned properties including parking lots, garages, and grounds.  Patients will not be allowed to leave the hospital to smoke or use tobacco at any time.
     After January 1, 2014, any job applicants must be tobacco free. Current tobacco users will be provided with tobacco cessation opportunities, but they are not required to quit using tobacco.  IRMC is offering free nicotine replacement therapy and onsite cessation classes for employees, their families, and the community.
Indian River County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Clubs Begin Their Projects for the 2013-2014 School Year
Fall 2013
     With the start of the new school year, the Students Working Against Tobacco program in Indian River County is back in action!
     We are excited to have a new SWAT Club at Vero Beach High School.  This new club, a partnership between Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and SWAT, started out in October by walking in their Homecoming Parade. Just a week later, the club participated in the City of Vero Beach Halloween Parade.  During the Halloween parade Vero Beach high school and Oslo middle school SWAT had fun walking together. Students wore their SWAT t-shirts, carried the SWAT banner, gave out candy with colorful reminders of the School District’s tobacco free policy.
     The Oslo Middle School SWAT club hit the ground running on their school campus as well. One of their early activities was to share their message to peers on campus during a “Not a Replacement” activity. Students drew chalk crime scene figures that symbolized victims of tobacco use. Oslo Middle School students learned how tobacco companies need them to replace the hundreds of thousands of tobacco users who die each year.  SWAT members were able to spread the message to students, teachers and visitors to campus. They insist their generation resist and say “I am NOT a Replacement”.
Read More about our 2014 Anti-Tobacco PSA Contest, in Partnership with WSTU-AM Radio and WPSL-AM Radio
Indian River County Leaders Work to Restrict Youth Access, Exposure to Electronic Cigarettes
November 19, 2013

     This past fall, local governments in Indian River County have become leaders in a statewide movement to restrict youth access to electronic cigarettes.
     Indian River County unanimously passed an ordinance restricting the sale and marketing of electronic cigarettes on October 22.  The ordinance sets the minimum age to purchase electronic cigarettes at 18 years of age, and requires that the products are placed behind the counter.  You can read more about the Indian River County Ordinance here.
     The City of Sebastian followed on November 5, 2013.  The Sebastian City Council also included the age restriction and product placement rules, but went one step further in banning the use of these devices in areas where traditional tobacco products are currently banned.  You can read more about the City of Sebastian ordinance here.
     Finally, the City of Vero Beach passed its ordinance on electronic cigarettes  on NOvember 19, 2013.  The Vero Beach ordinance puts rules in place that are consistent with the county-level ordinance.  You can read more about the Vero Beach electronic cigarette ordinance here.
     These local governments are taking the lead on this issue in the absence of age restrictions on the sale of electronic cigarettes at either the state or federal level.
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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