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

Indian River County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 5, Issue 1 / Jan - Mar, 2016
SWAT and the Tobacco Free Partnership Step Up During Through With Chew Week
February 16, 2016

VERO BEACH, Fla. –“The more nervous I am, the more my confidence builds and I know I’ll be O.K.” said Maaike’ VanLis.

During Through with Chew Week 2016, Maaike’, a teen SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) student, stepped up to the microphone to inform Vero Beach City Council members and Indian River County Commissioners what chewing tobacco can do to one’s health.

VanLis, a senior at Vero Beach High School, plans to enter college in the fall and take pre-med classes. Because knowing the first signs of cancer can help get people into treatment early, she displayed a photo of Leukoplakia, white patches in the mouth which can indicate that cancerous cells are forming.

Although cigarette use has dropped dramatically in the past decade, Council members, the public, and Commissioners learned the use of chewing tobacco has not decreased at the same rate.

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Tobacco Retailer Density Tells a Story
By Leslie Spurlock, March 1, 2016

VERO BEACH, Fla. – Why is it important look at the tobacco retail environment? Because tobacco use is the still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

75% of young people who start using tobacco before age 18 become the tobacco industry’s adult tobacco users. The 2012 Surgeon General’s Report tells us exposure to tobacco industry advertising and tobacco product displays increases youth tobacco initiation and makes it harder for current smokers to quit.

Tobacco retailer density is measured by the number of retailers per 1,000 people. In Florida the density per 1,000 youth is 7.2; in Indian River County, the density is greater at 8.2 per 1,000 youth.

No one, especially adolescents and youth, makes decisions in a vacuum, so the environment matters. 17% of Indian River’s tobacco retailers are within 1,000 feet of schools. Higher retailer density means easier access to tobacco and higher amounts of tobacco product advertising, tempting youth use initiation and making it harder for adults to quit.

Communities who want to reduce tobacco retailer density around schools and enforce local licensing rules are not prohibited from doing so by Florida’s Clean Indoor Air Act preemption clause. It’s time to start thinking locally when it comes to protecting youth from the effects of tobacco retailer density.

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Go Grease Lightning…
In 2013 NBC took a big risk announcing they were going to mount a live TV production of the classic “Sound of Music” starring Carrie Underwood. The critics weren’t the most receptive but the ratings proved otherwise with a staggering 30+ million tuning in. After a producing two more TV musical hits it didn’t take long for other networks to jump on the bandwagon. FOX joined the fun by producing a live musical version of the classic “Grease.” Critics were impressed with the A-list cast, impressive camera work, and innovative staging but I was impressed with something else. We all remember and know that famous scene where Olivia Newton John steps out and says “Tell me about it…stud.”,  to then toss her cigarette on the ground. Well in this version it was non-existent. Shout out to the halls of Rydell High for being tobacco-free!
Orlando Loses Heart Association Business Because of Florida Smoking Laws
February 24, 2016
ORLANDO, Fla - Orlando is losing convention business after the American Heart Association has blacklisted Florida because of the state's smoking laws.
     Under a new, stricter policy, the association will no longer conduct business in cities that allow indoor smoking of any kind. In Florida, stand-alone bars can apply for permits that allow smoking inside.
     "We definitely need to make sure we're practicing what we preach," said Emily Whitzel, the association's director of scientific & corporate meetings.
     The policy goes into effect July 1, 2017, allowing the organization to honor existing contracts and agreements for meeting and conference business.
     Orlando hosted last year's annual conference at the Orange County Convention Center in November. An average of 20,000 people attend the event, drawing doctors and health leaders from all over the world, Whitzel said.
     Kathie Canning, executive director of the convention center, said last year's economic impact was between $40 million and $50 million.
     Florida's law supersedes local ordinances. Sen. Thad Altman, R-Viera, is sponsoring a bill (SB 1554) to repeal the state's preemption on local municipal smoking bans. Altman, who filed the bill in January, said he did not know Florida was at risk of losing business.
Obama Signs E-Liquid Packaging Bill
January 29, 2016
WASHINGTON -- On Jan. 28, President Obama signed the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015, legislation that "requires the packaging of liquid nicotine containers for use in electronic cigarettes to be subject to existing child poisoning prevention packaging standards."
     Senator Bill Nelson (D.-Fla.), who introduced the bill (S. 142), said, “Requiring childproof caps on these bottles is just common sense.”
     He said it follows rising concern about nicotine and poisoning exposure incidents, which resulted in about 2,300 cases of poison exposure in young children in 2014, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
     The legislation requires that all liquid-nicotine containers have packaging that makes it difficult for children under five years old to open.
     The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), which represents the vaping industry, supported the legislation and encouraged its members to begin implementing childproof packaging voluntarily. The organization favored a national standard over a variety of state childproof packaging laws that would be more difficult on national liquid-nicotine manufacturers.
     “It's common sense,” said Cynthia Cabrera, SFATA president. “These are adult products and should be treated like adult products.”
     The effort will increase the cost of a bottle cap for manufacturers by six to 12 cents, said Greg Conley, president of the American Vaping Association (AVA). He said the cost to producers was “minimal.
'Operation Misfits' Leads to Two Arrests
Man and fiancee's mother booked into Bradford County Jail
January 26, 2016
BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. - Bradford County detectives arrested a man and his fiancee's mother after a months-long investigation dubbed "Operation Misfits."
     The Bradford County Sheriff's Office said the investigation began after it received information that local business named "Misfits" sold vapor cigarette oils mixed with marijuana.
     The detectives said they made several drug purchases from Kenyon Cole, 20, during the investigation.
     The most recent purchase occurred in the presence of an elementary school aged child. Detectives said they decided to end the operation at that time for the safety of the child.
     A search warrant was executed Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. at the business and adjoining apartment on North Temple Street in Starke.
     Detectives already secured three arrest warrants on Cole with 17 total charges for sale and manufacturing of marijuana, sale and possession of cocaine and child neglect.
     While conducting the search, the mother of Cole's fiancee, 47-year-old Rebecca Hulsey, was found to be in possession of cocaine, according to Bradford County investigators.
     Cole and Hulsey were arrested and booked into the Bradford County Jail.
     "Keep calm, vape gone! We will continue our efforts to keep Bradford County safe from drug dealers seeking to poison our citizens with any and all illegal drugs," said Sheriff Gordon Smith.
     Cole's bond was set at $700,000 and Hulsey was being held on no bond pending first appearance in court.
Big Tobacco Dealt Major Defeat in Court
January 15, 2016
     The nation’s second most powerful court dealt a blow to big tobacco Friday, siding with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the battle over regulating menthol cigarettes.
     Tobacco companies challenged a FDA advisory report that says there is evidence to suggest menthol makes cigarettes more addicting. The report will be used to draft new rules for products that contain the ingredient.
     The FDA issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on menthol in July 2013 and requested comments from the public. But because those rules have yet to be issued, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Friday vacated a lower district court ruling that barred the advisory report from being used.
     “Since the FDA has not yet issued a rule, Lorillard’s prospective injury from that rule remains remote,” Judge Stephen Williams wrote in the court’s decision.
     The case centered on a lawsuit that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Lorillard Tobacco Company, and Lorillard’s parent company — now wholly owned subsidiaries of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. — brought against the FDA last year.
     The tobacco companies argued that the FDA had appointed three members to the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee that had unlawful conflicts of interest. The 12-member panel drafted the report on the safety of menthol cigarettes.
Florida Bill Would Ban E-Cigarettes Indoors
Mike Ford, Clay Today
January 20, 2016

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A move to ban e-cigarettes everywhere smoking is currently banned is raising concerns among the e-cigs community.
     Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa) introduced House Bill 1143 last week to expand the reach of the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act – originally passed in 1985 – to include nicotine dispensing devices that emit vapor instead of smoke. Chris Johnston, owner of Vapor Craft in Orange Park, wants state legislators to research the issue before taking a final vote.
     The exhaled vapor isn’t much different from outside air – there are no more toxins in it. There are byproducts of the nicotine, but far less than cigarettes,” he said. “Nonetheless, some people don’t want to be around it. I vape and I wouldn’t want someone blowing it near me and my family when I’m out at a restaurant, so I get it. However, I think it should be the restaurant owner’s choice.”
     Meanwhile, Harrison’s colleague in the House, Rep. Travis Cummings (R-Orange Park) likes the proposed bill.
     “I don’t know the studies, but I know that when I’m out with my family and see people smoking stuff, I know I’m inhaling it because I can smell it. I’ve read that these different devices are used to overcome smoking or as a cessation device and I think that’s great, but I think it’s dangerous because these vapors are unproven,” Cummings said.
     Early research performed around the world has found vaping to be safer than smoking cigarettes because of the difference in carcinogens. In August 2015, Public Health England, the British counterpart to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, released a study concluding that electronic cigarettes are about 95 percent less-harmful than smoking tobacco.
SmokeScreeners Announce The 2015 “Phlegmmy Awards” Identifying the Smokiest Films of the Year!
February 25, 2016
     In conjunction with the annual Academy Awards, The SmokeScreeners have issued their annual “Phlegmmy Awards”, the list of the ten films with the most tobacco use as rated by students, parents, and educators.  Spectre, the latest entry in the James Bond franchise, tops this year’s list as the Worst Movie of 2015.
     The SmokeScreeners program was developed by Dr. Barry Hummel, a Pediatrician and youth tobacco prevention advocate, as a way of highlighting the problem of tobacco use in films marketed to children and teenagers.  “Even if you exclude product placement, smoking by actors in movies is a form of subliminal advertising for the tobacco industry,” said Dr. Hummel.  “Sadly, between one-third to one-half of all teenagers who smoke say that they lit their first cigarettes because it looked cool in a movie.”
     “Spectre is a PG-13 rated installment in one of the most successful movie franchises of all time.  The good news is that the character of James Bond has never smoked with Daniel Craig in the title role,” said Dr. Barry Hummel. “Unfortunately, the producers still felt the need to include tobacco use by other credited actors.  
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