January 2016 Edition


Critical Issues - Why Now? The Case to Take All Nicotine and Tobacco Products to age 21

After a decade of consistent decreases in tobacco use by teenagers, the National Youth Tobacco Survey reports that in 2014 overall use of tobacco among youth rose, exposing dangerous new trends. Clever marketing by the tobacco industry, pushing small cigars, hookahs, e-cigarettes, and flavored vaping products, has put millions of young people at risk of lifelong lethal nicotine addiction.

The momentum is surging across the nation. In November of 2013, New York City and the Big Island of Hawaii both passed legislation to restrict access to nicotine and tobacco before age 21. Meanwhile, two pediatricians in Massachusetts, Drs. Jonathan Winickoff and Lester Hartman, successfully campaigned in over 80 communities in Massachusetts, persuading each to raise its access age to 21. In late 2015, Kansas City and Cleveland became the first major Midwestern cities to raise their tobacco age to 21. Similar local efforts around the country have also succeeded, and statewide efforts began in earnest in 2015, with Hawaii, New Jersey, and California all taking crucial steps toward raising their age. As of December, 2015, 107 cities in nine states, and the entire state of Hawaii, have taken this important step, covering over 14.6 million people. Similar legislation has passed the Senate in both New Jersey and California, and await a vote in their respective General Assemblies. read more

Florida has the second lowest rate of high school smoking in the country, and a below national average rate of adult smoking.

Nevertheless, there are still an estimated 270,000 children now under the age of 18 who will eventually die prematurely due to smoking, with 13,100 children becoming daily smokers each year. The result is an annual health care cost of $8.64 billion that is directly caused by smoking. The state spends 35.8% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention, and charges $1.339 tax per pack. Florida state law has no preemption language regarding youth access to tobacco, making Tobacco 21 another option in Florida tobacco prevention efforts. For more information visit:

Raising Cigarette Tax Will Save Lives

The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout turned 40 years old about 1 month ago. We’ve made remarkable progress in reducing smoking rates, but even though they know it is often a fatal addiction, nearly 20 percent of Americans still smoke. In Florida, tobacco-related diseases remain the No. 1 cause of preventable death.

Four powerful health organizations are putting their collective muscle behind an effort to increase the state’s cigarette tax for the first time in seven years.

The coalition, which includes the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association in Florida and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, wants to see the tax increased by $1 per pack in 2016, its leaders announced Thursday.
read more

Check out this video for more information about the tobacco surcharge.

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Child-Proof Bottles Of Liquid Nicotine

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation requiring child-proof liquid nicotine bottles. Calls to poison control centers involving children and liquid nicotine are on the rise.
Liquid nicotine for e-cigarettes come in bright colors and kid-attracting flavors like peppermint and gummy bear. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson sponsored the legislation requiring liquid nicotine to be sold in child-resistant packaging. more

Chemical flavorings found in e-cigarettes linked to lung disease

Diacetyl, a flavoring chemical linked to cases of severe respiratory disease, was found in more than 75 percent of flavored electronic cigarettes and refill liquids tested by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Two other related, potentially harmful compounds were also found in many of the tested flavors, which included varieties with potential appeal to young people such as cotton candy, “Fruit Squirts,” and cupcake.

This article was published in the Science & Health section of the Harvard Gazette online.

Congratulations To Our First Group of Graduates for School Year '16

Our first group of participants has worked their way through the course. We are proud to report that as of the holiday break, we have had 17 educators complete one of the two courses and they have received their certificates of completion. They have earned over 800 Professional Development points collectively.

As of this report, nearly 1,000 Florida students have been directly impacted by the information presented through the completers. The total potential impact is currently over 25,000 students.

As you get through the coursework, remember that we are here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have, and let your colleagues know they can also earn points for re-certification from our online courses. Our best advertisements come from our graduates!

Follow Us On Social Media