April 2016 Edition

Hollywood's Rating System Blamed in Class Action Lawsuit for Smoking-Related Deaths

In 'March', the Motion Picture Association of America as well as its studio members and the National Association of Theatre Owners were hit with a proposed class action lawsuit that, if accepted by a judge and not barred by the First Amendment, would greatly expand the legal responsibilities of the filmmaking industry.

The topic of the complaint brought in California federal court by Timothy Forsyth and others similarly situated is Hollywood's film rating system and how minors are exposed to creative works featuring cigarette smoking.

The lawsuit points out that since at least 2003, Hollywood has known that tobacco imagery in films rated "G," "PG," and "PG-13," is one of the major causes of children becoming addicted to nicotine. Disney, Paramount, Sony, Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. are said to have been given recommendations from health experts at leading universities throughout the country as well as the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the American Public Health Association, and yet are allegedly continuing to stamp "their seal of approval" on films meant for children that feature tobacco imagery. -read on.

Teen smoking, e-cigarette trends see rapid shift

Teen smoking hit a new low last year while the popularity of electronic cigarettes and water pipes boomed, a government report shows.

The number of high school students who tried e-cigarettes tripled in one year -- to more than 13 percent. Water pipes or hookahs were used by 9.4 percent.

But smoking of traditional cigarettes plummeted to 9.2 percent from more than 13 percent. That means smoking in high school is now less common than e-cigarette or hookah use.
Read the whole story

What A Higher Smoking Age In California Could Mean For The Rest Of The Country

Will other states follow suit if California raises the smoking age to 21?

The California state legislature is weighing the possibility of raising the state's smoking age to 21 -- a move that health advocates hope will reverberate across the country.

The bill, which would increase the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21, passed in the state Assembly last week and returns to the state Senate, where it is expected to pass, before heading to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. 

Supporters say raising the smoking age will prevent people from ever picking up the habit. Ninety-five percent of smokers say they started before age 21. Read more.

In Needham Massachusetts, they raised the legal smoking age to 21 in 2006. The graph to the right compares the number of frequent High School smokers in Needham to those surrounding areas from 2006 - 2010. The difference is astounding. Read the whole article here.

Dogs and Cats are Twice as Likely to Get Cancer if Their Owners Smoke

Newly released survey data indicates that pet owners place great value on their pets’ health and well being.

“The more attention we generate and the more young people we engage to help us finish the tobacco epidemic, the more lives – humans and pets – we can save,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative, the national public health organization that directs and funds thetruth campaign. “When one out of four young pet owners has taken a sick day to care for a pet, you know you will grab their attention with the truth about pets and cancer.”
read on

 Tobacco industry takes hit in punitive damages ruling

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In a defeat for the tobacco industry, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday opened cigarette makers to more potential punitive damages in lawsuits stemming from smokers' illnesses or deaths.

The ruling came in an Alachua County case that involved the 1992 death of a smoker, but it also would apply to other tobacco lawsuits that have flooded the legal system during the past decade. Those lawsuits are known in the legal world as "Engle progeny" cases and are an outgrowth of a 2006 Florida Supreme Court decision that established crucial findings about the dangers of smoking and misrepresentation by cigarette makers. - read the whole story

"I've got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.~Larry Bird  

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Congratulations to Our March Graduates!

Our course participants continue to excel. 83 educators have completed one of our two tobacco prevention training courses, having directly impacted over 6,000 Florida students so far. And this is just the beginning! Our goal of 200 completions will ultimately reach over 15,000 Florida students on tobacco prevention.

Here are some of the latest comments we received from our participants:

* The content was most informative. I learned a lot about how, when, where, and why the tobacco industry gets away with selling this drug. "J.P." - Palm Beach

* I loved this course!!!! I thought I knew a lot about tobacco, but this course really opened my eyes up to what a HUGE problem this is for our youth and future adults. (They) were awesome and so very supportive. I am truly very grateful that I took this course.  "D.O." - Citrus

* Very informative and interesting material. Watching all of the videos and reading through the websites kept me very engaged. "J.M." - Palm Beach

* The course content was very good and I will use it for all grade levels. "M.S." - Dade

* Some of the course content I thought was a little disturbing and sad but I guess appropriate due to the topic. Lots of reading most was very good. - "B.S." - Columbia

* Not being a real computer wiz was a little challenge at times when it came to submitting lessons and so forth, but (their staff) were extremely helpful all during this time. I enjoyed learning so much about the subject of tobacco prevention and came away with a much healthier respect for the facts and understand how important it is to teach this information to the students. I knew that tobacco was a deadly product, but not to the extent that I know now having completed this course. This course provided me a knowledge base that will help me with lesson planning and teaching for years to come. "D.K." - Dade

* There is a lot of content to read in each lesson. It's very time consuming to complete each lesson and read the information, articles, watch videos, etc. Overall, I learned a great deal of information and the content provided in each lesson was very informative. "K.H" - Palm Beach

* Very informative, a great deal of work but definitely worth it. "M.J." - Dade

* The website was easy to use and the course content was rich and informative. The information was helpful in designing lesson plans for my classes. "C.W." - Duval

* I would definitely recommend teachers taking this course, not just to get the points, but to educate themselves and their students. I learned a lot, like there is such thing as third hand smoke. I also got out of my comfort zone and made a comic strip! Me, the most non creative person in the world! I really enjoyed making the comic strips, and I shared them with my students as well as my three children and my mother. 
Also, I realized I had never warned my own personal children about smoking. I have for other drugs and alcohol, seat belts, sun screen, etc., but never smoking. So I individually sat down my son, 19 and in college, and talked to him. Next, was my sophomore daughter, and last was my 8th grade daughter. So this course had impact on my family as well as my students. Thank you! "L.P." - Palm Beach

* I had a speaker come in twice during these lessons. She was from the local Health Department and was very impressed with the knowledge I gained and taught to my students. She is also excited that I will be starting a SWAT club next year. I would recommend this course to anyone. It was wonderful and I plan on using it more in the future."J.K." - Bay


Smokeless Tobacco Blues

Laura McDonald wrote and sang the original lyrics to this 1964 hit by the Animals - The House of the Rising Sun. This creation was submitted for her Smokeless Tobacco Assignment in the Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online professional development course, and used with permission. She credits Hunter H. for the guitar accompaniment. This is an example of the activities and assignments participants use for their lessons when designing student prevention topics. We love to see creativity at work!

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