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Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County
318 N. Main St., PO Box 75, Trenton, FL 32693

Highlands County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 4 / Oct - Dec, 2014
Tobacco Free Partnership Sponsors Drug Free Highlands Annual Big Night Out to Promote Prevention Issues
November 21, 2014

     Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County has continued their excellent partnership with Drug Free Highlands (DFH) for the past few years. The DFH Director and Chairman play an active role in the Partnership, the groups host a dual PAC (Positive Action Club) and SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) club, and also support community wide events that the Partnership and DFH host.
     This quarter the Tobacco Free Partnership had the opportunity to sponsor Drug Free Highlands first annual Big Night Out red carpet event that was held during Week of the Family. Hosted at the Circle Theater, this event was a great opportunity for families to get dressed up in semi-formal wear and have a unique red carpet experience in Highlands County that promoted family togetherness and fun! The Circle Theater was all decked out with decorations and its feature presentation was the popular 80’s movie, Big. Families enjoyed refreshments, the show and their quality time spent together. For a first annual event it turned out very well and Drug Free Highlands anticipates hosting this event next year as well. “Promoting positive family traditions and communication was at the center of this event,” says Aisha Alayande, Director of Drug Free Highlands. “We wanted to stress how strengthening families encourages youth to make healthy decisions.”
Valentine Pool Service Celebrates the Great American Smoke Out by Creating a Tobacco Free Workplace
November 21, 2014

     The Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County has been increasingly busy this quarter with employer cessation activities. Between one employer going 100% Tobacco Free and the Great American Smoke Out, this quarter has seen much success!
     On November 6, 2014, Community Health Advocate, Amanda John, met with Denise Valentine at Valentine Pool Service and conducted an ECC Employer Interview to access their employee cessation benefits.  This is a very small employer, with 8 employees, and of those 4 employees smoke. Valentine expressed her concern with smoking because she was a previous smoker and after several cessation attempts was finally able to quit.
     Since she started the business Valentine has allowed smoking in company vehicles, on customer property and outside the office and admitted that it has been hard to take that away after allowing it for so long. However, during the meeting was convinced this is what she needed to do. Valentine decided that as of December 1, 2014, employees will no longer be able to smoke while on the job, nor will they be provided smoke breaks. Valentine states, “My employees may not be very happy with me at first, but I hope this change will spark their interest and push them towards a healthier lifestyle.
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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