Healthy Choices - Healthy Lifestyle
June 14th, 2022
In November 2006, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment, Article X, Section 27, that called for establishing a comprehensive tobacco education and use prevention program using a percentage of the state’s tobacco settlement fund. As a result, Tobacco Free Florida (TFF) launched in 2007.
TFF is administered through the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida and funded by money derived from the state’s tobacco settlement agreement with the major tobacco companies in 1997. These tobacco lawsuits were intended to punish cigarette makers for decades of fraud and racketeering and to help states pay for the Medicaid and other public health expenses to cover sick smokers. Florida was among three other states—Texas, Mississippi and Minnesota—that settled with the tobacco industry before the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998 between the other 46 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The state constitutional amendment requires that “the money appropriated pursuant to this section shall be used to fund a comprehensive statewide tobacco education and prevention program consistent with the recommendations for effective program components in the 1999 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs of the CDC, as such Best Practices may be amended by the CDC. This program shall include, at a minimum, the following components, and may include additional components that are also contained within the CDC Best Practices, as periodically amended, and that are effective at accomplishing the purpose of this section, and that do not undermine the effectiveness of these required minimum components:
The CDC Best Practices were last updated in 2014, which describes an integrated programmatic structure for implementing interventions proven to be effective and provides the recommended level of state investment to reach these goals and to reduce tobacco use in each state. These individual components are most effective when they work together to produce the synergistic effects of a comprehensive statewide tobacco control program. On the basis of evidence of effectiveness documented in the scientific literature and the experiences of state and local programs, the most effective population-based approaches have been defined within the following overarching components.
QuitDoc is proud to be a part of this work in Florida. We receive funding through the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida to work in two important components contained in the CDC Best Practices in six Florida Counties (DeSoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Highlands, Indian River, and Okeechobee). We provide evidence-based curricula and programs to educate youth about tobacco and to discourage their use of it, and we create and maintain local community-based partnerships that discourage the use of tobacco and work to educate people, especially youth, about the health hazards of tobacco, with an emphasis on programs that involve youth and emphasize the prevention and cessation of tobacco use.
These tobacco control interventions are designed to counter the aggressive and often misleading information spread by tobacco companies, which have been found in federal court to have deliberately deceived the public about the health effects of tobacco. In this context, it is particularly important that comprehensive statewide tobacco control programs coordinate community-level interventions that counter tobacco industry marketing and focus on the following key components:
By John Michael Pieroban.
In a second attempt to return control to local government, two bills are back on the docket to give our communities the choice to make our beaches and parks smoke-free. HB 105 and SB 224 will do much more than keep tobacco litter off our beaches and out of our parks. If enacted, they will restore local control of our beaches and parks to our communities. They will also protect the environment and our children, reduce cleanup costs, increase tourism, and improve the health of our citizens. It is the right thing to do. It is time to pass HB 105 and SB 224 to give us the freedom to make our parks and beaches smoke-free.
Read the complete article here.
From United Press International.
Anti-tobacco groups are accusing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of failing to implement a recent ban on menthol cigarettes -- which are blamed for untold deaths each year, and encouraging people to start smoking.
The federal court hearing highlights a conflict between FDA efforts to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes and regulating the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes.
The FDA permitted the marketing of e-cigarette products, including R.J. Reynolds Vapor Companies' Vuse Solo e-cigarette and three tobacco-flavored e-liquid pods, but said it was "still evaluating" the company's application for menthol-flavored products. The conflict is clear.
A 2013 FDA report found that menthol cigarettes make it easier to start smoking and harder to quit, after the flavor was exempted from a 2009 congressional ban on all flavored cigarettes.
The American Medical Association, African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council and Action on Smoking and Health sued the agency last year, urging it to take action based on the findings of the FDA report. The suit noted that tobacco companies "for generations" have marketed menthol cigarettes to Black Americans. (The American Medical Association (AMA) joined the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) as co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the FDA).
Read the complete article here.
The number of 18 to 34 year-olds in England who smoke increased by 25% in the first lockdown, according to a study published in the journal Addiction and funded by Cancer Research UK. This equates to over 652,000 more young adults smoking compared to before the pandemic, according to the charity’s estimates. This is a serious setback for tobacco prevention efforts.
Dr. Sarah Jackson lead the research study Moderators of changes in smoking, drinking and quitting behavior associated with the first COVID-19 lockdown in England. She explains: "The first lockdown was unprecedented in the way it changed people’s day-to-day lives. We found that many smokers took this opportunity to stop smoking, which is fantastic. However, the first lockdown was also a period of great stress for many people, and we saw rates of smoking and risky drinking increase among groups hardest hit by the pandemic."
We know the lockdown will have ripple effects on mental and physical health in ways we are just now discovering. As we continue to battle COVID-19 its important to remember that addiction, stress and mental health issues still persist. If you need help managing stress, or managing addiction- there are ways you can still connect to support. Don't wait, reach out and find medical or professional help.
xting Its no secret the popularity of vaping has grown among youth. As soon as new nicotine products hit the market with their sleek devices and enticing flavors, teens were hooked. Knowing the huge toll nicotine addiction will have an a teenager's future and health, one program has stepped in to take advantage of another common teen addiction: their smart phones.
The "This is Quitting" is a free and anonymous text messaging program from Truth Initiative designed to help young people quit vaping. The first-of-its-kind quit program incorporates messages from other young people like them who have attempted to, or successfully quit, e-cigarettes. Our messages show the real side of quitting, both the good and the bad, to help young people feel motivated, inspired and supported throughout their quitting process. We also send young people evidence-based tips and strategies to quit and stay quit. This is Quitting is tailored based on age (within 13 to 24 years old) and product usage to give teens and young adults appropriate recommendations about quitting.
We know from countless studies that Smoking Cessation is much more successful when you have social support. Youth should take the same approach with their quit attempts, especially from electronic products. Cessation programs aimed at youth should take advantage of teen's willingness to utilize anonymous texting as a means of support.
COVID-19 has brought many issues to the forefront. Social justice issues, access to medical care, rural health inequities, and many more. . The impact of social isolation during the lockdown created was very challenging for one group in particular. Even in the best of times it is apparent our aging population is facing hardship. With the added challenge of protecting our older adults from a pandemic, outreach for older adults reached a near standstill. The QuitDoc Foundation has long been supportive of normalizing positive social change for a happier and healthier community. Do you have the resources to equip older adults to age independently, longer and healthier?
Here are a few resources that you can use to assist older adults in your community feel more connected and cared for:
Video Chat Features like Skype, Facetime, Zoom, and many others.
Food Delivery Services like Instacart, Grubhub, and many others.
Smart Home Devices that can store medical information in case of emergency, like Alexa, Google Assist, and Siri.
These are just a few recommendation for connecting Seniors with resources to help them stay independent. You can find more recommendations here.
quit tools in your pocket!
Even in the best of times, quitting is a huge challenge! Doctors and cessation professionals strongly encourage a combination of cessation medication along with counselling support to maximize your chances of successfully quitting. In person support might not work for everyone, many don't have the time to attend, experience social anxiety, or for certain populations (like seniors or those with chronic disease) may fear the risk of contracting illnesses while in mixed groups.
Another avenue to find support for quitting is to use assistive technology, like apps. Two that have been supported by the National Cancer Institute, SmokeFree.gov.
You can find out more about the to resources below:
Elizabeth Djinis Via the Hearld-Tribune
Read the Complete Article Here
The Co-Founder of the QuitDoc Foundation and medical director of Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Clinical Research Center, Dr. Kirk Voelker, has been part of a game-changing COVID-19 Treatment. As part of 12 other research institutions, SMH is taking part in a trial of new drug to treat those hospitalized with respiratory disease and low blood oxygen.
“I’ve realized how frustrating it is and how little control we may have over this inflammatory response, so the fact that we now have a drug trial that addresses the inflammatory response is actually very exciting for me,” he said. “I am very hopeful that this will somehow make a difference.”
When asked the goal of the trial, Voelker kept it simple: “To save lives.”
Read more about the trial here.
By Sarah Damien
No one understands the importance of Tobacco Retail Licensing (TRL) and Point of Sale (POS) Marketing like Big Tobacco. Retail stores, especially convenience stores, are a major way that youth have access to tobacco products either through illegal underage purchase, theft, or purchase by an older friend. Advertising in these stores is a key component to Big Tobacco’s marketing to today’s youth. The retail environment lets companies communicate directly to the consumer especially since the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act banned advertising on television, radio, and billboards. It is at the point of sale where the tobacco industry’s messages continue to reach and appeal to kids.
Protecting the next generation is why training on TRL/POS is so crucial for tobacco prevention efforts. It is the key reason why QuitDoc Foundation arranged a training for Tobacco Prevention Specialists and Point of Sale Task Force members to share strategies for creating new policies in local government. This is a collaborative effort that has reached across many counties in the state of Florida with key speakers with experience passing new tobacco ordinances. Presenters included Brittany Chatman, who serves as the Statewide Tobacco Policy Manager for the Point of Sale policy area for Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida; Ryan McGuire the tobacco prevention specialist at the department of Health-Alachua with a Masters of Public Health; Kim Waser Nash whose Martin County Tobacco Free Partnership helped pass the Tobacco 21 ordinance in 2020; Kyleigh Savoie, the Community Health Advocate for Indian River County with a BA in Sociology and currently working towards her Masters in Public Health focusing on Epidemiology; and rounding out the panel Dr. Barry Hummel, CEO of QuitDoc Foundation and Pediatrician and main presenter.
Dr. Hummel’s presentation focused the health equity and social justice issues exacerbated by the tobacco industries tactics that encourage underage tobacco use, and the history of TRL/POS legislation. Changing local policy is critically important now so that Florida counties can align state laws with federal laws like changing the age of purchase to 21, implementing flavor bans across all products or instituting financial penalties for stores that violate these ordinances. A recording of the presentation as well as highlight clips can be found online at: https://www.quitdoc.com/trl-and-pos-webinar.html.
By A. Pawlowsk for TODAY.com
Health experts are urging families not to forget about another kind of epidemic that dominated the headlines before the coronavirus came along: vaping among teens and young adults.
The problem “has been overshadowed, but it'll come back,” Dr. Nancy Rigotti, director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told TODAY.
“Vaping is still an important issue just as I think smoking is still an important issue … We've sort of forgotten about it because we've had a bigger health concern to worry about.”
According to the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey released in September 2020, almost 20% of high school students are vaping. But youth who vape may be presented a perfect opportunity to quit. The Experts have called the social distancing rules of 2020 a “golden opportunity” for teens to quit vaping and for families to talk about the habit’s harmful effects, even if they don’t think their kids are using e-cigarettes. Many parents are unaware their children are vaping, a study published last month in the journal Pediatrics found.
Read the full article here.