January 2017 Newsletter

As the new year begins, it is time to remind all of our educators what an important role they play in helping our students live a healthier and happier life.  Keeping tobacco out of this picture is a goal that we can reach only with the help of every educator in Florida.  All Florida educators are eligible to take one of the courses for professional development points.  It's not too late to start and your students will benefit from your lessons.  Please visit for more information.

Spread The Word

Are you in need of points for certificate renewal?  Join the hundreds of Florida Educators that are currently taking the Tobacco Prevention Training course online.  You'll earn up to 60 PD points while making a difference in the lives of Florida students by teaching them the hazards of choosing to use tobacco.  With no charge to teachers, schools or districts, this course is paid for by the Florida DOE and runs through the end of May 2017.  In 2015-16 Florida teachers taught prevention to over 22,000 students.  With your help, this can be the generation that puts cigarettes out for good.  Spread the word:

Protect Your Smile

U.S. surgeon general E-cigarette report sparks controversy

Surgeon General Reports on e-Cigarettes

Surgeon General Reports on e-Cigarettes

The U.S. surgeon general in a report released on Thursday called for action to reduce the use of e-cigarettes among young people, noting they have overtaken cigarettes to become

the most commonly used tobacco products among this group. Vivek Murthy, the country's top doctor, in the first Surgeon General's report on e-cigarettes use among youths, said young people were more vulnerable to the negative consequences of nicotine exposure than adults and should be protected.

Read On

Read On

"We know a great deal about what works to effectively prevent tobacco use among young people," the report said. "Now we must apply these strategies to e-cigarettes."

The report recommends that e-cigarettes be incorporated into existing smoke-free policies to prevent youth from accessing e-cigarettes. Such policies include imposing price and tax policies that discourage use.

Participant Shows Creativity with Big Tobacco Assignment

When a participant exhibits skills in presentation, and combines those skills with a passion for a topic, the results can be exceptional.   David Ernsberger, a Fine Arts Educator from Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami, is one such teacher.  We are fortunate to be able to share his latest presentation from the course with his approval.  His message is simple, but when presented in this way, many students will take much more from it than "Whistle Blower".  How Big Tobacco spent so much money to keep people from learning of nicotine addiction in tobacco is brought to a point here. David shows that short videos can have a big effect when done right!  Well done David and thanks for sharing!

Secondary Benefits of the Course

One of the biggest side effects our participants talk about when taking this course are the technology integration skills we encourage them to develop in their assignments.  Videos, cartoons, animations and play acting video clips are ways our students learn best.  Not only are they better prepared for the subject at hand, it gives them examples for their own presentations and assignments for other classes.  Teachers that learn to use these FREE, ONLINE-Applications are able to utilize these skills in other lessons across the board.  We use simple, step-by-step programs that enable our participants to get their points across in a colorful, animated and current way.

In this newsletter we will show a few examples of their outstanding work.

Refusal Skills

It's one thing to say no, it's another to show our students how to say no. Research has shown that youth who are taught refusal skills are more likely to refrain from engaging in high-risk behaviors and make positive choices.  Teach them to make healthy decisions concerning tobacco use.  Many time, a short video or animation can be much more effective than a story or essay, especially when working with children.  We encourage our participants to use their creativity when designing their assignments so they can use them in their own prevention lessons, required by the course.  Here is an example of how Refusal Skills may be introduced to your students.

Check out another participant's essay on Refusal Skills here Magical Flute of Hamlin revisited.

FDA Warns Tobacco Companies About Flavored Cigarettes Loophole

Little cigars vs. flavored cigarettes

Little cigars vs. flavored cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to four tobacco manufacturers on Friday for selling flavored cigarettes that are labeled as "little cigars" or "cigars."

A 2009 law banned the sale of cigarettes with sweet flavors that were thought to entice children and put them at risk of developing an addiction to smoking.

The four tobacco companies - Swisher International LLC, Cheyenne International LLC, Prime Time International Co. and Southern Cross Tobacco Company Inc. - sold products with flavors including grape, cherry, wild cherry and strawberry.

"Flavored cigarettes appeal to kids and disguise the bad taste of tobacco, but they are just as addictive as regular tobacco products and have the same harmful health effects," Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement. "Because about 90 percent of adult daily smokers smoked their first cigarette by the age of 18, continued enforcement of the ban on cigarettes with characterizing flavors is vital to protect future generations from a lifetime of addiction."

The FDA found that the so-called "little cigars" and "cigars" meet the definition of cigarettes under the Tobacco Control Act, because they are likely to be bought as cigarettes based on their appearance and packaging.

The companies have 15 days to respond to the FDA's letter to avoid fines or federal lawsuits.

The History of Tobacco

Jenn Chroniak, a teacher in Palm Beach County, put together this clip for her assignment on the History of Tobacco in the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Teachers online PD course.  Her integration of technology serves to give the students a medium they all can relate to.  In this case she used the online video construction program "Animoto".