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Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County
219 N. Main Street, PO Box 75
Trenton, FL 32693

Gilchrist County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 7, Issue 4 / October-December, 2013
Gilchrist County Student Working Against Tobacco Youth
Engage the Community During a Very Busy Fall!

December 10, 2013

     The Gilchrist County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) youth have been busy with community outreach activities in the past several months.
     In October, several SWAT youth had the opportunity to address the Gilchrist County Legislative Delegation which was held at the Gilchrist County Board of County Commission board room in Trenton. The youth spoke to Senator Charlie Dean and Representative Keith Perry about their local, state, and national outreach over the past year on the issues of tobacco marketing targeted toward youth, and candy flavored tobacco. SWAT youth also discussed the recent increase in e-cigarette use among middle and high school students which was published by the CDC, and explained their concerns that e-cigarette use may become an increasing trend among youth in Gilchrist County.
     Also in October, SWAT held a recruitment activity which brought in several new members to the club! This year SWAT youth have decided to create a leadership committee among the long-term members to help mentor new SWAT members, and provide leadership in various areas such as public speaking, or community event planning. The SWAT leadership team has taken on many projects in their community, and most of them have been recognized as leaders in North Florida, nationally, and even internationally through their SWAT projects and work in 4-H.
Tobacco Free Partnerships in both Dixie and Gilchrist Counties Help Local Health Departments with New Tobacco Free Policies
By Melanie Anderson and Tracy DeCubellis, November 21 , 2013

     Secondhand smoke is a well-known health hazard, and many businesses and community organizations have created smoke-free zones to protect customers and children from the negative health impacts associated with secondhand smoke exposure.
     Not as much is known about the impact of e-cigarette vapor exposure, or what is contained in the clouds of smoke-like vapor emitted from people using the nicotine delivery devices.  Since it took decades for the Surgeon General and other public health advocates to conclude that secondhand smoke is very hazardous to non-smokers who passively smoke through no choice of their own, some businesses and organizations recognize that their customers and clients need to be protected from the unknown potential negative health impacts of e-cigarette vapors.
     In September the Dixie County and Gilchrist County Tobacco Free Partnerships were contacted by Barbara Locke, RN, MPH, who is the County Health Department Administrator for both counties.  Mrs. Locke was seeking assistance in promoting smoke-free grounds at both health departments.
     During meetings of the Tobacco Free Partnerships in both counties, Mrs. Locke requested assistance from the partners to get “no smoking - no vaping” signs posted at both local health departments.  The Dixie County and Gilchrist County Tobacco Free Partnerships voted to purchase the signs for the local County Health Departments.
Ordinances to Restrict Youth Access and Exposure to E-Cigarettes Passed in Two Nearby Counties
December 10, 2013

     The Board of County Commissioners in both Marion and Alachua Counties recently passed ordinances restricting the sale, marketing, and use of electronic cigarettes in order to curb a recent increase in the use of these devices by minors.
     Both county ordinances take the same three actions: each ordinance restricts the sale of the drug delivery devices to those under the age of 18 years, requires retailer-assisted sales by placing the products behind the counter, and restricts the use of these devices in areas where traditional tobacco products are currently banned under the Florida Clean indoor air act.
     The Marion County ordinance passed unanimously on November 19, 2013.  You can read more about the public hearing and passage of the ordinance here.
     The Alachua County ordinance passed by a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Susan Baird casting the lone dissenting vote.  You can read more about the public hearing and passage of the ordinance here
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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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