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

Dixie County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter

Volume 8, Issue 4 / Oct - Dec, 2014
Dixie County Students Working Against Tobacco to Host a 5K Walk/Run to Promote Healthy Lifestyles, Tobacco Cessation
December 11 , 2014

     The Dixie County High School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT), the Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie County, and the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition will be holding the Dixie Twilight Walk/Run 5k on December 20th, 2014. The race event will start on the Dixie County High School campus.
     The SWAT officers have been planning a 5k for over a year.  The SWAT youth want to promote healthy lifestyles and getting active as an alternative to tobacco use.  Based on the 2012 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, over 18% of Dixie County High School students have reported being obese, at or above the 95th percentile for body mass index by age and sex. Along with this data, the SWAT youth noted that the Dixie County High School students ranked higher than the state average rates of use of Smokeless Tobacco, Exposure to Secondhand Smoke, and Smoking Allowed in the Home.  A change in the social norm for tobacco use could be tied to the need for more physical activities that encourage healthy lifestyles.
     The SWAT youth shared with the Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie County the need to conduct this 5k walk /run, and has built ongoing support from the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition and several local businesses and community groups that plan to advertise for the 5k event and to donate time, money and/or promotional items for the goody bags for participants of the 5k.
     The Dixie County High School Administration has given approval for this event to be held as a night time walk/run starting at the Dixie County High School Football Field and then leading to the Florida State Park managed Natural Trail.
     The Dixie County SWAT Officers would like to give a special thank you to Mr. Steve Felty for assisting in the organization of the event and for furnishing many items such as cups, water bottles, signs, course map, First Aid kit, tables, coolers, trash cans and much more.
     The SWAT officers decided to hold the 5k as a Glow Run on December the 20th in advance of the New Year and the Holiday rush to help promote tobacco cessation resources and tobacco prevention during the upcoming quit season tied with the New Year’s Resolutions.

     The cost to particpate is $20.00 for adults, and $10.00 for students. If you want to participate, you will need to complete a Registration Form and a Liability Waiver.  You can also download a map of the course here.
     For more information, visit the Event Page on the Tobacco Free Partnership Facebook Page, or contact Melanie Anderson at
Dixie County Library System Shares Policy on E-Cigarette Use With the Three Rivers Regional Library System
November 1 , 2014

Cindy Ballot, Director of the Dixie County Library System, has been very supportive of the Dixie County SWAT youth and a partner of the Tobacco Free Partnership for over 5 years.  Recently she received an e-mail from the Three Rivers Regional Library System (TRRLS) director about the dangers of e-cigarettes and asked her opinions of the TRRLS Board addressing the issue of using e-cigarettes in libraries in their policies. 

Mrs. Ballot was so proud to be able to share with the TTRLS Board about the Electronic cigarette and liquid nicotine ordinance Dixie County passed last year.  She also shared with the TTRLS Board a link to the Tobacco Free Partnership website to read a previous article about a Dixie County Commissioner who had attended a presentation on electronic cigarettes and decided to address the Board of County Commissioners in order to adopt an ordinance that would require an age restriction,  addresses product placement,  and would restrict the use of e-cigarettes to meet the Clean Indoor Air Act.  The ordinance was passed without objection. 

Due to the fast acting County Commissioners, the Dixie County Library system does not have to deal with the issue of including e-cigarettes into their library policies before telling library users that it is not permitted.  Libraries all over the country have banned electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco use for many reasons such as “difficulty in monitoring the use of e-cigarettes, coupled with potential confusion from customers who don’t discern the difference between tobacco cigarettes and their electronic counterparts ‘at a glance’.” Other libraries want to wait for more studies to determine safety to users and others. Read More

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

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.

Read More

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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