Solving the Youth Vaping Epidemic:
Local Tobacco Retail Licensing
Young people who live in communities with strong tobacco retail licenses are 33% less likely to start using cigarettes and 26% less likely to start using e-cigarettes (Astor et al., 2019).
What is tobacco retail licensing (TRL)?
With a local tobacco retail licensing law, the city or county government requires all businesses that sell tobacco products to obtain a license from the government in exchange for the privilege of selling these products. On an annual basis, retailers must fill out an application, pay a pre-determined fee, and meet any other requirements outlined in the ordinance. This fee allows for the retail licensing program to be self-financed, so all activity necessary to implement, administer, and maintain the licenses is fully funded by the money collected.
How can tobacco retail licensing benefit the community?
A tobacco retail licensing policy not only ensures businesses comply with responsible retailing practices, but it provides local governments greater oversight over tobacco-related activity in their own community.
They can oversee:
1) who can sell tobacco products,
2) what types of tobacco products can be sold, and
3) the penalty structure for illegally selling to minors or for being noncompliant with other tobacco-related policies.
Tobacco retail licensing has also been used to promote other innovative policy solutions, such as limiting the density of retailers per city square mile, banning establishments in close proximity to schools, and imposing additional restrictions on the sale and promotion of certain types of tobacco products that are particularly attractive to kids.
What about electronic cigarettes?
In Florida, the sale of e-cigarettes to minors has been prohibited since 2014. Beyond this law, e-cigarette sales are unregulated. Though 1 in 3 youth in Flagler County have used e-cigarettes, there are no restrictions on who can sell them or where they can be sold. Local cities and counties throughout the nation have taken steps to ensure that e-cigarettes are regulated and monitored in their communities by including e-cigarettes in the definition of a tobacco product when establishing a local tobacco retail licensing ordinance. By incorporating e-cigarettes into the policy, retailers selling e-cigarettes must abide by the same requirements and penalty structure as those selling other tobacco products.
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Quit YOUR Way with Tobacco Free Florida
We know quitting can be very hard, but it’s not impossible. In fact, there are more former smokers than current smokers in Florida. With the right help, resources, and the support to keep you going, Tobacco Free Florida can give you the best chance to quit for good. For each person, overcoming nicotine addiction is different and we can help you choose a path to quitting that works for you.
Tobacco Free Florida offers a number of free and convenient resources to help tobacco users quit. Click here for more information.
Youth Advocacy: SWAT
Empowering Florida's Teens
Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is Florida's statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. SWAT is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future.
Youth in SWAT are engaged in activities that educate their peers and policy makers about the need to change social norms related to tobacco. SWAT not only promotes leadership, but also helps develop speaking skills and creates opportunities for youth to grow as community advocates. On a local level, SWAT members participate in leadership workshops, local parades, commercial contests, art contests, writing contests, and various other anti-tobacco programming. Students participate in local events such as: Relay for Life, carnivals, community wellness events, parades, leadership retreats, youth rallies, & peer education activities.
To learn more about the Florida SWAT program, visit www.swatflorida.com. If you are interested in learning how to join the Flagler County SWAT Chapter, please email SWAT Coordinator, Troy Stone: FlaglerSWAT@civcom.com.
Healthy Employees for a Healthier Bottomline
We assist employers in developing tobacco-free workplace policies. Creating a tobacco-free workplace not only provides a healthier environment for all employees, but also a supportive environment for employees who are in the process of quitting. Tobacco-free workplaces also protect customers and clients from secondhand smoke exposure and reduce tobacco product litter.
Tobacco-Free Rural Areas
Wholesome and Healthy Country Living
America’s rural population is one group that is more heavily impacted by tobacco use. People living in rural communities are more likely to use tobacco and they have especially high rates of smokeless tobacco use. Rural youth are more likely to be surrounded by role models who are tobacco users. Tobacco use is deeply rooted in the social environment in many rural communities, not only harming the health and well-being of the current generation, but also perpetuating a cycle that threatens future generations.
Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing
Limiting Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
We work with local apartment and condo communities to identify and implement smoke-free policy strategies that can create healthier environments for their residents–and a healthier bottom line for the landlord. Smoke-free apartments are less expensive to rehabilitate for new renters and some insurance companies provide discounts for smoke-free property policies.
Learn more about the Florida Apartment Association's smoke-free housing certification program here.
Tobacco-Free Outdoor Spaces
Protecting Kids & the Environment
Not only do tobacco products devastate the human body, they cause havoc on the environment–ending up in our waterways, along beaches and in our parks. Cigarette butts account for an extraordinary amount of waste. An estimated 1.69 billion pounds, or 845,000 tons, of cigarette butts accumulate as litter in lakes, in oceans, on beaches and on the rest of the planet annually. Only 10 percent of cigarette butts are properly deposited in ash receptacles. In fact, cigarettes and cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world. Tobacco Free Flagler and SWAT members volunteer to clean-up local beaches and parks to bring awareness to the environmental impact of tobacco product litter. By educating community members about secondhand smoke and environmental issues of tobacco, we hope that more tobacco users will reconsider using tobacco in parks, playgrounds and beaches.
Meet our leaders! Want to become a member?
Flagler County Youth Center Director
Focus on Flagler Youth Coalition Director