October 2015 Newsletter

Welcome From Safe Schools

June Eassa is the Director of Safe Schools for the School District of Palm Beach County.  The Department of Safe Schools encompasses a wide range of programs and initiatives to ensure safe and supportive learning environments, thus increasing academic success for all students in Palm Beach County, FL. 
Visit the department of Safe Schools section of the District website at: to learn more about the various programs supported by the School District of Palm Beach County's Safe Schools.


New CDC Report: e-Cigarette Use Among U.S. Teens Triples

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

TALLAHASSEE—The number of high school students in the United States who used electronic cigarettes tripled in 2014 compared to just one year earlier, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report confirms the alarming trend that teens across the country and here in Florida are using e-cigarettes and that the rate of initiation is rapidly accelerating.
Similar trends have been reported in the state. The number of Florida high school students who were current e-cigarette users doubled in one year—from 5.4 percent in 2013 to 10.8 percent in 2014. Current use is described as using e-cigarettes at least once during the past 30 days.

Tobacco Free Florida is alarmed by the rapid increase in e-cigarette use among youth, the possibility that e-cigarettes can be a gateway to nicotine addiction and use of other tobacco products, and the potential for e-cigarettes to renormalize smoking. -read more

Participant Projects

The assignments in the course present meaningful opportunities for participants to put knowledge gained to use in their lessons. When a teacher works hard to produce something that reflects his or her passion, quality shines out.  Tobacco refusal skills are a much needed skill in our students today.
Remember that most smokers (90%) start before the age of 18

Check out this eye-catching animated video created by one of this year’s participants. Tom from Pahokee.


Tobacco Companies Target Teens With Sweet Smokes

On a day when trick-or-treaters and candy reign supreme, Tobacco Free Florida is warning parents to pay attention to candy flavored cigars and snuff, which it says are being marketed to teens. One in three high school students reports they have tried smoking cigarettes at least once.
Teen smoking levels mirror those of adults; just under one in five. That's down from 27 percent 15 years ago when the state started its anti-smoking campaign. Now SWAT, or Students Working Against Tobacco, say they are being targeted once again through flavored tobacco.

"For instance, this orange tootsie roll flavor kind of looks like this cigar right here," said Matthew Goodson, Students Working Against Tobacco.
"So you think this is an obvious attempt to market to kids?"
"I definitely agree. I definitely think so," Goodson said. -read more

Source: Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

Stop Targeting our kids

Welcome Miami-Dade

We are encouraged and excited to have the Miami-Dade County Public Schools include the Tobacco Prevention Training program in their professional development catalog for SY2016. Both courses are now available for teachers in Miami-Dade for professional development. Miami-Dade is the largest school district in Florida, and their participation will surely encourage other districts to "see the light" in the value of tobacco prevention.

With over 100 registered participants from 13 districts so far, we are pleased to welcome educators from all over the state! Please contact us for more information.

Past Participants: Our Best Advocates

As educators complete this course they become lifelong advocates for Tobacco Prevention. The old adage that "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" is no more evident than when one of our graduates leave a review for us. Here are a few from last year:

  • That was probably the most interesting course I have ever taken. Thank you! (J.S. from Palm Beach County)

  • Just a note to let you know I am loving doing the lessons with my kids. I have been doing 2 lessons a day, since I am on a block schedule and have my kids extended time each day. I am so amazed at how interested they are, how much they are enjoying the activities, and how my 'light bulbs' look like they're going on. I hope it translates to good choices for them at some point in their lives. (S.A. from Sarasota County)

  • My students and I wish to thank you all for a most outstanding program. Due to the Florida Statewide Tobacco Prevention On Line Course Sy15 I grew professionally & was able to launch creative, educational common core connective lessons/activities to foster and promote life long classroom to real world learning lessons and self discovery. (J.V. from Collier County)

  • The site loaded quickly. When I had a question about an assignment, it was answered in a timely matter. (M. C. from Dade County)

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