Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County
1940 10th Ave., Suite C3
Vero Beach, FL  32960

Indian River County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 2, Issue 1 / January - March, 2013

The City of Vero Beach Issues a Proclamation Encouraging Retailers to Restrict the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products That Target Youth
February 19, 2013

     On February 19, 2013, The City Council of Vero Beach issued a Proclamation encouraging local education on the issue of flavored tobacco products and urging retailers in Vero Beach to restrict the sale of those products that target youth.
     "I was astounded when Leslie came to talk to me about her report on where we are with tobacco use, and I was just stunned on some other issues," said Vero Beach Mayor Craig Fletcher prior to reading the proclamation dealing with the sale of fruit-flavored and candy-flavored tobacco in local convenience stores. "Youth in Indian River County may be particularly susceptible to flavored tobacco products. Specifically, over 24% of Indian River County high school youth have used one or more tobacco products in the past thirty days, and use tobacco products at a significantly higher average rate than the youth in the State of Florida."  Read More

Indian River County Students Working Against Tobacco Learn the Harmful Effects of Tobacco Products

     The last few months have been very busy and exciting for the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) program in Indian River County.
     At Oslo Middle School, SWAT learned about healthy and unhealthy lungs from Rob Walsh, an instructor at Indian River State College. Mr. Walsh brought lungs to school and demonstrated a vibrating vest that is used to clear up mucous from patients’ lungs. Students were able to touch the lungs and try out the machine!
     To celebrate Through with Chew week (February 17-23), SWAT Club members throughout Indian River County viewed Rick Bender’s video and discussed the dangers of trying candy flavored tobacco. Rick Bender also visited Oslo Middle School students in person in February to speak about how spit tobacco changed his life, and how he still struggles with what happened to him because he used tobacco.  

Read More

How Big Tobacco Got its Way in The Florida Legislature
By Matt Dixon
     TALLAHASSEE - It was February 2009, and things were looking good for the tobacco industry.
     “There are an estimated 60 million adult consumers participating in the total tobacco space in the United States,” said Michael Szymanczyk, CEO and chairman of the Altria Group, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies. “These adult consumers spent an estimated $80 billion on tobacco products at retail in 2008, an amount that has been increasing over the past few years.”
     His message during a conference at the posh Boca Raton Club and Resort was in the industry’s public statements and filings with regulatory authorities. It’s not what was being told to Florida lawmakers... Read More

'Addictive' Cigarette Smoking Games On Smartphones Target Kids
by Michaeleen Doucleff
     You can do just about anything with your phone these days. Take an electrocardiogram. Confess your sins. Even smoke a cigarette
     Yup, you read that correctly. Android and Apple offer apps that let you light and smoke a virtual cigarette. You simply blow into the microphone, or onto the screen, and an image of a cigarette glows red and "burns."
     Some apps time how long it takes to puff the whole fag, while others have a virtual ashtray that pops up messages like, "Would be even better with a beer in your hand!"... Read More
Sarasota County Can't Ban Smoking, Says its Attorney
By Jeremy Wallace
     SARASOTA COUNTY - All those “No Smoking” signs at county beaches and parks are flat-out wrong, it turns out.
     Sarasota County discovered Tuesday that it is powerless to stop smoking at public beaches, parks, youth sports fields or even in front of public libraries despite years of passing laws to the contrary.
     County attorney Stephen E. DeMarsh told county commissioners that the nearly five-year-old law banning smoking on public beaches is likely unenforceable, as is the roughly $100 fine that can come with each violation. Dozens of other smoking bans passed by local governments around Florida also could be in jeopardy... Read More

Senate Democrats go after tobacco tax loophole to increase revenue
By Ramsey Cox
     A group of Democratic senators introduced a bill on January 31, 2013, that would close tax loopholes for tobacco companies, generating $3.6 billion in revenue over 10 years.
     Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) introduced the Tobacco Tax Equity Act, S. 194, which would close tax loopholes that allow tobacco companies to avoid the federal cigarette and roll-your-own tobacco tax, by making taxes on pipe tobacco equivalent to cigarette tobacco.
     “The current loopholes in the taxes on tobacco products encourage the use of products like pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and 'nicotine candies' as a cheap source of tobacco, particularly among young people,” Durbin said... Read More

Graphic Cigarette Labels Can Influence Smokers Who Know Less About Health
By Join Together Staff
     Graphic cigarette warning labels that show the health consequences of smoking can influence a wide range of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups, a new study concludes.
     The study included more than 3,300 smokers, MedicalXpress reports. Researchers viewed graphic cigarette warnings or text-only warnings, and reported their reactions. The warning labels with pictures had a greater impact compared with the text-only warnings, the findings suggest. This was true regardless of participants’ race, ethnicity, education or income... Read More

Opinion:  E-Cigarette Makers Want to Have it Both Ways
By Stanton Glantz, Ph.D.
     Several of my colleagues and I submitted a public comment to the FDA docket regarding a “Report to Congress on Innovative Products and Treatments for Tobacco Dependence.” 
     We commented on the fact that at least two e-cigarette companies, Sottera, Inc., which promotes the e-cigarette brand NJOY, and VMR Products LLC, which promotes the e-cigarette brand V2Cigs, along with the e-cigarette industry’s trade association, Smokefree Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), directed their consumers to provide public comment to this docket on “treatments for nicotine dependence” in direct e-mails to consumers and on their websites. The companies’ action was important because Sottera, Inc. had successfully sued the FDA to stop the agency from regulating e-cigarettes on the grounds that they were not therapeutic drugs and/or devices... Read More
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