New bills before Congress for tobacco and e-cigarettes

A new bill has been introduced in Congress that hopefully will “prevent and reduce the use of tobacco products in America.”   H.R. 293, known as the Youth Vaping Prevention Act of 2019, has been brought about from the growing popularity and use of e-cigarettes and vaping products by youth.  The bill could also impact other tobacco products if passed.

In 2009, when the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was signed into law, it banned flavored cigarettes except menthol.  But when cigarette flavors disappeared, flavors in little cigars took off and prices became cheaper.  Youth started smoking them in place of cigarettes.  Smokeless tobacco flavors also increased.   If this bill passes, tobacco products will be allowed to be tobacco flavored and not much else.  The bill addresses artificial flavors as well as herb and spices including menthol and other fruit, candy, and baking-style spices currently used.  There is an exception for e-cigarettes which will be allowed to use flavors “if the manufacturer can prove the flavor will increase the odds of smoking cessation for the user, will not lead to increased youth use, and will not come with increased harm to the users.”  That may be difficult for the vaping industry to prove.

This bill will also bring excise taxes among all tobacco products into an equal footing.  For example, right now chewing tobacco is taxed at $0.5033 per pound or $0.0315 per one-ounce tin.  The bill would raise this to $5.37 per pound.  Snuff, which is currently taxed at $1.51 per pound ($0.0944 per one-ounce tin) would increase to $13.42 per pound.  Currently, Florida taxes snuff at 85% of the wholesale price in addition to federal taxes listed above.

Large cigars would also be affected by this new bill.   Federal taxes for large cigars are “52.75% of sales price but not to exceed $402.60 per 1,000 cigars or 40.26 cents  maximum each.”  This bill would apply a tax of “$24.78 per pound of cigar with a floor of  no less than 5.033 cents per cigar.”  The bigger the cigar, the higher the tax.  Florida does not apply a state tax on cigars.  The bill would also ban the sale of cigars both online and through catalogs.

And while H.R. 293 would add higher taxes and remove flavors, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio hopes to protect Florida’s cigar industry and has reintroduced Senate Bill 9.  Known as the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2019, Bill 9 would take premium cigars out of the control of the FDA.  Sen. Rubio has introduced this Bill every year since 2011.

The article from Tobacco Business says if this bill passes, it “could prove damaging for the tobacco industry as it would strongly restrict the use of flavors in tobacco products.”  But the tobacco industry seems to have done well throughout history without unnecessary flavors, and it is flavors that are spurring on the teen e-cigarette epidemic in our country.  Currently, high school e-cigarette use has jumped nearly 80% and middle school use almost 50% in the past year alone.  The health of our young people needs to come first, and H.R. 293 can help to reduce tobacco and e-cigarette use among our nation’s youth.

While we wait for H.R. 293 to pass, we can work on educating our youth.  The Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online course is open and accepting registrations from educators, administrators and school counselors in public, private and charter schools in K-12 grade levels.  This no-cost course provides current certificate holders with 30- or 60-professional development credits and is accepted by all 67 Florida school districts.  At the end of the course six (6) tobacco prevention lessons will be taught to the students.  This year we are pleased to also provide a 20 point CEU course for Florida School Nurses (no teaching required) as well as a 10-point ENDS course for Palm Beach educators.  Registration is open until April 30th.

Click HERE for the Tobacco Business article.
Click HERE for current Federal and Florida cigarette and tobacco excise taxes


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Vaping will kill your smile

More than 15,500 e-cigarette flavors are on the market today.  According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, 81% of youth aged 12-17 used a flavored product the first time they tried the vaping, 85.3% used a flavored e-cigarette in the past month, and 81.5% of youth currently using e-cigarettes said they use the products because “they come in flavors I like.”  Is it any wonder than that between 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use increased by 78% for high schoolers and 48% for middle schoolers? The vaping industry pushes the fact that their products only contain four ingredients – propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavorings and nicotine – not the 7,000 chemicals found in cigarette smoke.  But these four ingredients can quickly kill your smile.

The major ingredient in e-cigarettes is propylene glycol (PG), a thick, sticky, slightly sweet and colorless liquid.  It is used in the production of polymers and also used by our food industry in products such as ice cream and whipped dairy products.  This ingredient breaks down into “acetic acid, lactic acid, and propionaldehyde which are all toxic to tooth enamel and soft tissue.”  That dry mouth after a vaping session is due to the propylene glycol, and can lead to more cavities, an increase in gum disease, as well as other oral health problems.

Then there is the vegetable glycerin (VG) which is an odorless, colorless, thick and sticky sweet liquid used in food products as well as the medical and pharmaceutical fields.  Although it is “60% as sweet as sucrose”, it is not thought to cause cavities.  But mix VG with flavorings and things change.  This mixture of VG and flavorings decrease enamel hardness and the “e-liquid allows more cavity-causing bacteria to stick to a softer tooth, leading to spreading decay.

And let’s not forget nicotine used in most e-cigarette liquids.  Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor and affects blood flow to tissues and gums and decreases connective tissue turnover.  It also affects immune cell function.  You have a much higher chance of developing gum disease and having tooth loss by vaping.

The vaping industry is not going to publicly announce this information and the only way our youth will learn is if they are taught.  The Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online course provides teachers, administrators and school counselors with the information they need to teach tobacco prevention lessons to their students in grades K-12.  In exchange for teaching six (6) lessons at the end of the course, participants will receive 30- or 60-professional development credits toward renewing their teaching certificate.  Any current FLDOE certificate holder in public, private or charter schools can take this course at no cost to them, their school or their district.  The course now has an entire chapter devoted to e-cigarettes. In addition, a 10-point course devoted to e-cigarettes is available to Palm Beach teachers this year and will go state-wide next year.  A 20-CEU course is also available to Florida School Nurses with no teaching required.

Our students deserve to know the vaping industry isn’t telling them the truth about their “safer” and “less harmful” products.  It is up to us to give them the knowledge so they can make informed decisions about their health.

Click HERE for the entire article “Vaping and oral health: It’s worse than you think.”
The image above is Figure 1 from the article.


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Alachua County, first to raise the tobacco age to 21 in Florida

The vaping epidemic among teens in Florida is out of control, and Alachua County is trying to do their part to keep tobacco and vaping products out of the hands of minors by approving a county-wide ordinance to raise the tobacco age to 21.  But it doesn’t stop there.

A “distribution license” will now be required by each retailer for each location tobacco is sold.  These licenses are good for one year.  New retailers are prohibited from selling tobacco at a location within 1,000 feet of a public K-12 school.    While current retailers near schools will still be allowed to sell tobacco, they must adhere to the age limit.

Violations will also be stricter.  A single violation receives a seven-day license suspension.  If a second violation occurs within a 24-month period, a 30-day suspension takes place.  A third violation in the same time period results in a 90-day suspension and a fourth violation in the time period means the license is revoked with no option to reapply.  Signs must also be posted saying “No person under the age of 21 may be sold tobacco products.”  With the number of minors able to purchase tobacco and vaping products, it is clear that not all retailers were adhering to the law prohibiting sales to those under 18.  One local tobacco retailer in Alachua County applauded the measure.  He said he doesn’t sell the Juul product and has “a problem with idiot store owners who sell Juuls to kids who’ve never even had a cigarette before.”

Tobacco Free Alachua representatives have been working on this for two years and updating commissioners every few months on the national Tobacco 21 initiative “aimed at raising the minimum legal age for tobacco and nicotine sales in the U.S.”

Florida is a pre-emptive state meaning counties or communities cannot enact a law that is stronger than that at state level, but they can pass ordinances.  Although the ordinance doesn’t takes effect for 9 months, Alachua County may see the effects on the next tobacco survey given in the spring of 2020.

Congratulations to Alachua County for putting the health of their youth first.

Click HERE for the article.

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Hookah gaining popularity

These days the news seems to be all about e-cigarettes and vaping, leaving other forms of tobacco rarely discussed.  While cigarette smoking is at an all time low among both teens and adults, it seems that hookah is gaining in popularity again among our young adults, ages 18-24.

According to an article, about 1% of U.S. adults smoked hookah in 2017, or about 2.6 million.  While that number may not seem huge compared to vaping, it is nearly double the number from several years ago.

What makes the hookah popular is the unique method for smoking.  It is not a hurried smoke standing outside, but rather a social activity, usually in a hookah bar or lounge dedicated to this activity, as partakers sit around a waterpipe filled with sweetened tobacco heated by charcoal placed in the head.  The only flavoring allowed in cigarettes is tobacco and menthol (although menthol flavoring may disappear), while hookah tobacco comes in candy and fruit flavors making it more appealing to youth.  The water in the base of the pipe smooths the smoke, making it easier and more pleasant to smoke than cigarettes.  Teens and young adults are also under the impression that it is less habit-forming.

Researchers point out that smoking hookah is not as harmless as people think.  It still contains carcinogens and toxins, some at higher levels than cigarette smoking.  A typical cigarette is smoked for five to 10 minutes while a hookah session can last for 30 minutes to an hour, giving users “nine to 10 times” as much carbon monoxide as cigarettes.

What concerns researchers is that hookah smoking may damage cardiovascular health in much the same way as cigarette smoking.  Although many consider hookah as a social activity, the hand-to-mouth habit and the nicotine could also lead some youth to start smoking or using other tobacco or vaping products.

If you want to learn more about the dangers of hookah and other methods of nicotine use, the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators can provide you with information on cigarettes and other alternative products such as hookah, smokeless tobacco, and vaping.  Our courses allow participants to earn 30- or 60-credits to renew their current Florida Department of Education certificate at no cost to them or their district.  At the end of the course, participants teach six (6) tobacco prevention lessons to their students.  Lesson plans are provided for K-12 grades and administrators, school counselors and teachers in public, private and charter schools are allowed to take one of our courses.  This year we added a 20-CEU course for Florida School Nurses (no teaching required) and 10-point ENDS course for Palm Beach educators.

Click HERE for the article
For more information on the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online course, click HERE.



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Trinkets and Trash, December 2018

You can learn so much about the tobacco industry by reading Trinkets and Trash each month.  The news for December talks about the investment between Altria and Juul, and the typical holiday season promotions.

Altria agreed to keep e-cigarettes away from minors and ceased production and sale of its MarkTen electronic cigarette product per information to the FDA.  Frankly, the MarkTen wasn’t a big money-maker.  Two days later they announced a 35%, $12.8 billion dollar investment in Juul, which holds over 70% of the e-cigarette market.  It is Altria’s way of preparing for a future where adult smokers choose non-combustible products.  But both Altria and Juul are not being truthful to the public.  Altria says Juul is “a world leader in switching adult smokers,” and Juul CEO said the investment “would improve the lives of the world’s one billion adult cigarette smokers.”  But Juul didn’t get to the top of the e-cigarette market on the backs of adult smokers, but on the initiation of teens to vaping who otherwise would not have started using a nicotine product.  According to the University of Michigan report National Adolescent Drug Trends in 2018, “increases in adolescent vaping from 2017 to 2018 were the largest ever recorded in the past 43 years for any adolescent substance use outcome in the U.S.”

Why celebrate Christmas when you can celebrate “Dipmas” with a drool log, appropriately named. Nothing like giving the gift of addiction and mouth cancer to those you love.  Grizzly smokeless tobacco didn’t even bother showing their product, just a recipe for eggnog, without the egg part of it.  Red Seal direct mail featured the iconic red truck with a Christmas tree in the back, and featured a tip to keep Christmas light strings organized in addition to coupons for more product.  Skoal featured young African American men and women in a holiday video on the brand’s website occasionally pinching a dip while dressed like Santa.

Virginia Slims ads are still showing beautiful, thin women in stunning clothing, sans cigarettes, because, let’s face it, smoking is so unattractive. The brand has to do something to pull women in, so now they are including recipes.  We’ve come a long way baby, but we still manage to “assume” women want to cook.  American Spirit sent a direct mail card and an email to its users wishing them Happy Holidays “from our family to you,” with a picture of the employees and an invitation to view a video on the brand’s website. The email featured a photo of a hand-written letter “signed” by employees.

Trinkets and Trash gives us an idea of what is happening in tobacco and vaping marketing and what to look out for in the coming months.  You can subscribe to the e-newsletter to keep up with the latest news.

Click HERE to see the newsletter in its entirety.

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Promises Made, Promises Broken

It hasn’t even been a month since Juul and Altria, parent company of Marlboro cigarettes, joined forces in a $12.8 Billion 35% minority investment, and publicly pledged to remove nicotine flavor pods from store shelves and to keep e-cigarettes away from teens.  Should any of us be surprised that the promises they made are being thrown to the wind?

Back in October, the chief executive of Altria stated in a letter to the FDA that “pod-based products significantly contribute to the rise in youth vaping,” and they agreed to stop selling them.  On December 18, 2018, Altria’s MarkTen and Green Smoke e-cigarettes were shut down.  December 20, 2018 Altria bought into Juul.  But by merging with Altria, Juul now has shelf space in 230,000 retail outlets, up from the 90,000 it had.  Now that Altria has given Juul shelf space, they are telling the FDA they are “merely a minority investor in Juul” and don’t control Juul’s business because it is an independent company.  Juul isn’t the only e-cigarette company that had 60 days to provide they could keep products away from minors; RJR Vapor Co.’s Vuse, Imperial Brands’ blu and devices made by Logic also received letters from the FDA.

Juul continues to say they have a plan to “curb youth vaping” and are sticking to it, at least according to a Juul spokesperson.  According to the company, it “would suspend retail sales of teen-friendly flavors like mango, fruit and crème,” selling them only on their site that supposedly controls verification, but that doesn’t appear to be happening.

Behind the scenes, Juul is spending money on lobbyists and advertisers to change their image from the company that holds over 70% of the pod-based market and created the largest ever recorded increase between 2017 to 2018 in the past 43 years for any adolescent substance (vaping) use outcome in the US to one as a “public health company” that wants to “disrupt the tobacco business.”  Spending money on lobbyists is nothing different then what the tobacco industry has done for decades, except Juul now has access to Altria’s lobbyists who have more experience navigating Washington.  Juul also has access to cigarette consumers as Altria is including advertising (and possibly coupon) inserts in Marlboro and other cigarettes packs.  Should public health officials be worried that smokers could become  dual users?

It seems like the FDA drew a line in the sand giving these companies 60 days back in September, but the tobacco companies are reneging on their own detailed plans. And why wouldn’t they?  This is a billion dollar business, and the money and addiction is coming from our teens.  Just normal business with another generation of users for the tobacco industry.

Click HERE for the New York Times article.

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Juul and Big Tobacco join forces

Altria has bought a $12.8 billion piece of the mango-flavored pie from Juul.  The company that “controls half of the American tobacco market” with brands like Marlboro (another kid-friendly favorite) now owns 35% of the company that controls 70% of the cartridge-based e-cigarettes in the U.S.

It’s an interesting move for Juul, whose product is designed to get adult smokers off cigarettes, to team with a company known as “Big Tobacco.”  Juul CEO said Altria “agreed to support Juul’s mission to wean people off cigarettes.  And in the process, Altria now has access to Juul’s distribution network and will put Juul next to Marlboro on the shelf.  When you get Altria coupons and mailings, expect to see inserts advertising the Juul brand.

It shouldn’t be surprising that these two companies came together, as both are successful at marketing and gaining a large percentage of teens as customers.   Marlboro cigarettes is still highly used by teens and topped the “list of preferred cigarette brands” by teens in 2016.  And although the tobacco industry denies it, teens are heavily exposed to advertising.  Without their teen base, cigarette companies would go out of business.  This merger should worry parents because it just gave the tobacco industry “direct access to a new pipeline of millions of youth e-cigarette users.” Most Juul users were not smokers to begin with and research shows “young people who vape are four times more likely to begin smoking” cigarettes.”

And what did Juul get out of this merger?  Some hefty bonuses to the tune of $1.3 million for Juul employees and billions for the founders.  The founders each own 3.6% or $1.36 billion apiece.  Not bad considering their holdings were valued at $843 million back in July.

This isn’t the first e-cigarette company that Altria has invested in, but it is the most profitable.  Altria also owns Mark Ten and Green Smoke.  As they move away from cigarettes, they are adding other smokable products like marijuana companies in Canada and American states where it is legal.  It should be noted that while it is legal in some states, it is still illegal under federal law. They will also market Philip Morris’s “heat not burn” IQOS device which is popular in other countries but does not have FDA approval in the U.S.

While the deal is said to have “long-term benefits for adult smokers,” it is not the adult smokers who made Juul famous.  Like the tobacco industry before them, Juul has gained popularity and profitability on the backs of our teens, making them addicted to a product they need to inhale when in truth they didn’t want to inhale in the first place.  Will we ever get control back?

Florida Educators: Click here to register for the 30 or 60 point Tobacco Prevention Training professional development online course or here to learn more.  

Click HERE for the original article.  Click on links throughout the blog for other information.

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Monitoring the Future – National Adolescent Drug Trends 2018

Monitoring the Future has released the report “National Adolescent Drug Trends in 2018, by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, which looks at historic trends of substance use by teens in 8th, 10th and 12th grades. While all drug use was covered in the report, and we mentioned some of them, we focused on tobacco and vaping trends.

Some notable declines were observed in cigarette smoking, prescription opioids and tranquilizers, and binge drinking, while substances like marijuana, and tobacco products such as smokeless tobacco, snus, hookah, and small and large cigar use remained steady.  Vaping has grown from almost zero use in 2011 to one of the most common forms of substance use by teens since 2015.  Despite a decline in use in 2016, it doubled between 2017 and 2018, marking the largest increase for any substance use in the survey’s 43-year history.  Increases of “perceived risk” and disapproval contributed to the downturn of cigarettes use, but youth see e-cigarettes as having some of the lowest levels of perceived risk of any substance.

U.S. teens are more likely to use cigarettes than other drug forms, except marijuana.  The report shows 27% of 12th graders have tried cigarettes during their lifetime and 10% have smoked in the past 30 days.  Results for 10th and 8th graders are lower: 10th grade numbers are 16% and 5.0%, while 8th grade results are 9.4% and 1.9%. The results for vaping nicotine is almost as high as consuming it through cigarettes: lifetime use is 25%, 22% and 11% in grades 12th, 10th and 8th respectively.

Some tobacco products were more gender specific in use.  Males in 12th grade are more likely to vape nicotine than females, 22% vs. 16%.  Smokeless tobacco is “almost exclusively” a male behavior with 9.9% of 12th grade males vs. 0.7% of females reporting use in the past month.  Other nicotine product use such as hookah, large cigars, regular and flavored little cigars, dissolvable tobacco, and snus also tend to have more male use.

The report also showed categories not often seen in reports such as tobacco use among noncollege-bound teens.  Vaping nicotine for noncollege-bound students in 12th grade was 50% higher at 15% vs. 10% for those planning for college, twice as high at 14% vs 8% for 10th graders and three times as high for 8th graders at 9% vs. 3%.  Noncollege-bound teens also had higher use of cigarettes at 4.7% for noncollege-bound 12th graders vs 0.9% for college-bound (page 46).

We can see percentages of students vaping through media reports, but don’t often see the percentages reported of those who don’t vape.  TABLE 4-4a (below) shows the percentage of students “vaping nicotine” and 89.4% of students in 8th grade have not vaped on any occasion.  While the number decreases as the students get older, it is still good to know that 78.6% of 10th graders and 75.0% of 12th graders haven’t vaped.  It is true, not everyone is vaping.

One of the misconceptions of vaping is that it is just flavoring and doesn’t contain nicotine.  “Vaping just flavoring” on TABLE 4-2 (below) shows higher percentages than “vaping nicotine” in all grade levels: 17.0% vs 10.6% in 8th grade, 27.5% vs 21.4% in 10th, and 30.7% vs 25.0% in 12th.  News articles have stated that many teens may not know  or aren’t aware they could be vaping nicotine.

The report also identified three distinct classes of vapers:  those vaping to experiment (29.4%), vaping to replace cigarettes (7.3%) and vaping for taste + entertainment (63.4%), proving that flavors are an important draw for teens to try flavored e-cigarettes (page 511).

Cigarette use declined due to education of students through the media and tobacco prevention education programs in schools.  Now vaping has taken the place of cigarettes and the industry has shifted their message from telling users their product is “harmless water vapor” to saying it is “safer” and “less harmful” than smoking cigarettes.  Yet they refuse to tell consumers what chemicals are in the devices or that they are highly addictive, especially to teens.  It is up to us to educate our students to give them the best possible chance to make an informed decision about their future health.

The Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators has had an online tobacco prevention course for educators since SY2011.  We have seen shifts in tobacco use and have kept up with the trends so our educators are informed.  While we have had information regarding vaping in previous courses, this year we have expanded the information and dedicated an entire chapter to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) including marketing, chemicals and the hazardous effects on health.  This information is included in both the 30- and 60-point courses and the Florida School Nurse’s course.  Palm Beach County educators have a 10-point course just on ENDS.  All courses are at no cost to participants or their districts.  At the completion of the course, participants receive credits towards renewing their Florida DOE certificate.  Our participants can make a difference in protecting Florida students from tobacco and vaping harms.

Click HERE for the Monitoring the Future Report 2018
Click HERE for more information on the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online course.








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The Toll of Tobacco in Florida 2019

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has released its report “Broken Promises to Our Children” regarding the funding states have received from tobacco companies through the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement and how it is spent on tobacco prevention and cessation programs.  While the U.S. has made progress in lowering tobacco use among teens and adults, tobacco still kills over 480,000 American every year.  In Fiscal Year 2019, states will collect an estimated $27 billion from the settlement and from revenue on tobacco sales, but most of that money will go to funding other state projects rather than tobacco prevention programs to keep youth from starting tobacco, and health care and cessation programs that would decrease adult use.

In the new FY2019 report Florida earned a state ranking of 9 compared to 14 in FY2018.  While we will be taking in $1.5 billion in total state tobacco revenue, we will be spending only $70.4 million on   tobacco prevention, 36.3% of the CDC recommended spending of $194.2 million.  That is certainly more than other states, but it is far short of the $605.3 million the tobacco industry is spending on marketing in our state.

The national youth smoking rate is 7.6% for high school students, and Florida’s rate is 3.6%, one of the lowest in the nation (Connecticut is 3.5%, but their population is much lower).  While we can applaud the low smoking rate, e-cigarette use rate is 24.8%, one of the highest rates in the nation.  Ten other states have e-cigarette use rates in the 20 percentile and three states are above Floria’s rate.  Every year 5,600 kids under 18 become new daily smokers in Florida, up from previous reports.

If we continue on our current path, 844,500 kids in Florida who are now alive will become  smokers.  Those who smoke during their youth also have a higher likelihood of smoking as adults.  The current adult smoking rate in Florida is 16.1% or about 2.7 million adults.  We rank 22nd in the nation for adult smokers.  Every year approximately 32,300 Floridians die from smoking.  That means of the kids under 18 alive today, approximately 270,000 will die prematurely from smoking.

We can see the emotion cost of smoking in our family members who suffer from smoking-related health issues, but the monetary cost is also extremely high.  Our annual health care costs directly caused by smoking are $8.64 billion and Medicaid costs are $1.51.billion.  Our state loses $8.32 billion in lost productivity by workers due to smoking.  And every household is paying $760 per year in state and federal tax burdens from smoking-caused government expenditures.

Since 2007, Florida has had strong youth tobacco prevention and education programs available, as well as cessation programs for adults through Tobacco Free Florida.  And since 2010 the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators has been offering online tobacco prevention courses for educators, allowing any teacher, administrator or school counselor in public, private or charter schools to take our course at no charge to them or their district.  After completion of the course and the teaching of six (6) tobacco prevention lessons, participants are awarded either 30- or 60-points towards FLDOE certificate renewal.  This year we added a nurse’s course for all Florida school nurses and a 10-point e-cigarette course for Palm Beach educators.

These numbers don’t have to be our future.  We can lower smoking and e-cigarette use rates with new legislation at our state level.  Increasing the tobacco age to 21, removing internet sales of tobacco products, and increasing fines and penalties for retailers who sell nicotine products to under-aged customers would decrease youth use.  Raising taxes on cigarettes and taxing e-cigarettes would also help decrease youth use and increase adult cessation efforts.  These small changes would decrease tobacco use among our youth and adults and protect them from a lifelong addiction to nicotine.

Click HERE to see the spreadsheet for all states.
Click HERE to see the full report of Broken Promises to Our Children
All images used above are taken from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids report and articles regarding this report.
Click HERE to register for the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online course.


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Trinkets and Trash for November 2018

Trinkets and Trash is a surveillance project that keeps tabs on what the tobacco industry is doing to advertise and market its products.  The report comes out at the beginning of the month and reports on the previous month’s activities.  Their articles are a great way to keep up with current and future tobacco and vaping products.

November held many special days and the tobacco industry used the opportunities to provide discounts to their customers to keep them coming back.  Veterans had special offers from MYLÈ vapor and Stoker’s smokeless  tobacco.  But Red Seal grabbed our  attention by hitting  on the red truck theme that has been featured so prominently in the latest trending farmhouse decor on Pinterest and other websites.  Here is a sign from ebay (on the top right) that was on Pinterest.  Even more interesting is that I happened upon a book jacket with this same picture.  Look familiar?  They also reminded customers that Thanksgiving was about being together for the holiday.  Of course, if you have a lip of tobacco, you really won’t be able to taste the great flavors of the day.

And let’s not forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.  Juul was front and center on those specials by featuring a limited edition maroon device.   The ad also shows the eight flavor pods users can purchase.  We are confused because earlier in November Juul said they were going to stop selling the flavors in retail shops.  Yet they come out with a limited edition device and are still promoting the flavors.  Juul’s Facebook and Instagram pages were to be deactivated in mid-November.  Their Twitter page will continue, and its YouTube channel will have “testimonials of former adult smokers.”  By exiting social media they “can better prevent teens and non-smokers from ever becoming interested in the device.”  Preventing teens from using Juul and then coming out with a “limited edition” vaping device?  Doesn’t sound like they are sincere in their position on teen prevention.  Other vaping devices like MarkTen also had a special going on for Black Friday.  And if sucking on 28 carcinogenic chemicals is your thing, Grizzly smokeless tobacco also had their ad campaign for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday retail holiday.

Swisher Sweets had a special promotion in New Orleans during November.   A special sampler of four flavored cigarillos called the Swisher Sweets Goodies 504 New Orleans Edition was available for $1 at a hip-hop concert.  Swisher has ties to The Artist Project which “provides unique opportunities for artists to create, share and pursue their passion.” The brand is also sponsoring a contest where users can “enter for a chance to party in New Orleans at the NOLA Takeover concert featuring hip-hop artists.  One rapper thanked Swisher for starting “The Artist Project to give back to the hip-hop community that made the brand what it is.”  Swisher uses these music venues to appear like they are giving back to the community and hooks another generation of users.  No doubt the NOLA Takeover concert will feature more cheaper, flavored cigarillos by Swisher Sweets.

Tobacco marketing and advertising knows how to reach that emotional attachment in its users, whether it is pictures of the great outdoors, a red truck carrying a Christmas tree, or a maroon Juul that every teen will want.  The tobacco industry isn’t losing money by giving you discounts and coupons.  You are keeping them in business and paying for it with your health.

Click HERE to see the entire article







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