May 7-13 is Public Servant Recognition Week. Without our Public Servants, our mission at the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and Tobacco 21 would not be possible. In many of the places that we work with, our main contact is a public servant interested in improving the health of their community through tobacco control laws.
The next time you step outside and take a breath of clean air, drink a glass of clean water, go swimming in a lake or beach that isn’t contaminated, walk into a smoke-free workplace, airplane or restaurant, remember to thank a public servant!
A big thank you to all public servants from the PTAF and T21 team around the country.
Make sure to check out our advocacy materials to see how you can make your city, county, or state a Tobacco 21 locality.
Last week, the FDA suspended increased regulation on the e-cigarette and cigar industry. These regulations will hold e-cigarette juice and cigar manufacturers responsible for listing ingredients that are in their products. Additionally, the use of “light”, “low”, or “mild” would be disallowed.
The public health community is concerned with the current direction of the FDA and current administration. Delaying regulation and research on these harmful products pushes the vapor and tobacco industry into a more powerful position. Certainly, the connection between administration officials to the tobacco industry is a troubling foresight of what could come down the regulatory pipeline in the next 4 years for tobacco control.
Read The Gazette story below for a more in-depth look into the suspended federal regulations.
The DCrew in Douglas, AZ is working steadily to adopt Tobacco 21. The DCrew’s efforts to raise the age follow years of involvement and volunteering in Douglas.
The youth coalition gathered survey data among their peers and presented the results to City Council. Especially relevant, 87 percent of the 1,318 high school participants supported an age raise in their city.
Youth advocacy and activism fuels Tobacco 21 progress. Students Taking a New Direction (STAND), unites all youth coalitions throughout the state. STAND is a nationally recognized organization that provides direction and technical assistance to volunteer youth. Many states could take a page out of STAND’s book to improve their advocacy efforts. Check out their website here.
Nassau County, New York is considering increasing the sales age of all tobacco products to 21. Karen Bloomenfeld, along with other anti-tobacco advocates, medical professionals, and legislators, testified in support of raising the age. Arnold Drucker, a county commissioner in Nassau, stated that the law should be, “equal and level all over Nassau County”. We couldn’t agree more and look forward to welcoming Nassau County into the 225+ localities that have raised the age.
Check out the links below for the story from Newsday.
San Francisco has long been a leader in public health and tobacco control. The UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education continually pushes out new information on the forefront of tobacco control. The city was also among the first to adopt a tobacco 21 ordinance in California.
The public health community has known for some time now that flavors, including menthol, continue to drive young people towards tobacco products. Flavored cigarettes (other than menthol) are already illegal in the US. However, tobacco companies have since put flavor emphasis on many other tobacco products (i.e. little cigars). Additionally, flavors, especially menthol, decrease the harshness of tobacco smoke, making it easier to take deeper inhales.
The work that Malia Cohen is pursuing will help keep many young people from using tobacco products; especially in minority demographics where flavors attract young users even more. Policies such as flavor bans help to reinforce the intent of Tobacco 21 laws by steering young people away from tobacco products.
Contact us to learn more about how your city or county could strengthen tobacco control with supplementary laws.
Check out the links below for the full story from Kaiser Health News.