The Town Council of Baldwin, Duval County unanimously passed both a Candy-Flavored Tobacco Resolution and a Candy-Flavored Product Placement Ordinance last night following an impassioned presentation by 4 SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) youth and one local Tobacco-Free Partnership youth member (SWAT Alumnus).
In correspondence with the Town of Baldwin Clerk today, she wrote, “It was a pleasure meeting the young people. Everyone present was very impressed with their commitment and how they presented themselves. The ordinance will have to be advertised with the public hearing and final reading held on Tuesday, November 8th. Your group will be more than welcome to attend. I’m sure the council would be happy to participate in a “photo op” with them. The Mayor would be more than willing to take a few minutes from the meeting to have pictures taken with them. Most, if not all, of the council members should be available before and after the meeting to meet with the team.”
Next week the SWAT youth along with members of our Tobacco-Free Jacksonville Coalition, Inc. will request the same at the Jacksonville Beach City Council meeting on October 17, 2011; and then again at the Neptune City Council meeting on October 24, 2011. Our final proposal will be at the Jacksonville City Council in November/December which will complete our efforts in all the incorporated towns and cities within Duval County regarding restriction of candy-flavored tobacco access. (Atlantic Beach City Council also passed a CFT Product Placement Ordinance that took effect on October 1, 2011).
On August 8, 2011 the Duval County Health Department Tobacco Prevention Program hosted international visitors from 5 counties at a meeting to discuss tobacco issues, tobacco marketing, and tobacco prevention efforts in Florida and locally, and to learn about tobacco related issues in other countries.
Gregg Smith, Program Administrator for the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco prevention program gave a broad overview of the state’s goals and activities, and showed two of the new public service announcements media spots to the visitors. Harry Reagan provided a history of the Tobacco-Free Jacksonville Coalition and discussed their achievements in tobacco-free campus policy and their efforts in other policy areas. Heather Sciartelli, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Coordinator from Clay County and the SWAT youth from Duval and Clay counties discussed strategies to fight tobacco marketing.
After the meeting Maria Cherneva, a reporter on health issues with the Bulgarian National TV interviewed the SWAT youth and Heather. SWAT Alumni Terrica Slaughter, Kirk Blackwell, and Tory McGriff represented Duval County. This interview can be found at: http://bnt.bg/bg/news/view/58853/zaribjavat_deca_s_plodovi_cigari Use Google Translate to read the content on the site. Because the video’s audience lives in Bulgaria, the news channel uses Bulgarian voice-overs to report what the youth and Heather say to their audience.
SWAT develops leadership and advocacy skills in middle and high school aged youth (11-18 years old). We are seeking youth who are passionate about fighting Big Tobacco. We are also seeking organizations to host SWAT clubs at their locations. Our next County-Wide SWAT Leadership Council meeting will be held at 2:00 on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at the Webb-Wesconnett Regional Library, 6887 103rd Street, Jacksonville, FL 32210. To learn more about SWAT, how to host a SWAT club, or if you are a young person or know of a young person interested in joining the SWAT Leadership Council, please contact Samantha Freels at 253-2312 or Melissa Covey at 253-1338.
Monday, July 25: City Council of Atlantic Beach passed Ordinance 95-11-103 on increased legal restrictions of Candy-Flavored Tobacco sales and product placement had its first reading with a unanimous vote on July 11, 2011 and its second reading before the Council Monday evening where it was signed into local law which will take effect on October 1, 2011.