News and Events

Bradford County Students Working Against Tobacco Address the E-Cigarette Epidemic on "Not a lab Rat" Day!
October 16, 2019

The Bradford County Students Working Against Tobacco Chapter has been working hard to bring awareness to the current youth E-Epidemic. 

Students Working Against Tobacco youth at Bradford High School set up a table in the school courtyard on October 16th, 2019 in recognition of Not a Lab Rat Day.  Not A Lab Rat Day is a statewide initiative  recognized annually on the third Wednesday of October, that empowers youth to stand up and declare that they refuse to be the tobacco and e-cigarette industry’s “lab rats” as we wait and see the long-term health effects of vaping. 


Bradford High School SWAT youth (L-R):
Mallory Watson, Meghan Harris (Vice-President), and Camee Morrow (President)

E-cigarette companies use the same tricks, including flavors and marketing campaigns, tobacco companies used for decades to target and recruit young smokers (1). Not a surprise considering Big Tobacco companies own or have significantly invested in e-cigarette companies (2,3). These are the same tobacco companies that for decades lied about the addictiveness and health effects of cigarettes (4).

This was an opportunity for SWAT Youth to educate their peers and school staff about the dangers of e-cigarettes.   Now more than ever, it is imperative for youth to take action.  Students Working Against Tobacco – Bradford County Chapter has committed to making sure education and awareness are at the forefront of their efforts this school year.  These efforts will dispel the myths and educate their peers about the e-cigarette industry’s connection to Big Tobacco.

Here are the facts:

Youth vaping has increased dramatically across the country, including right here in Bradford County.  E-cigarette companies claim their products are intended for adults, but alarming rates among teens tell a different story. About 25% of Florida high school students are vaping (8) compared to 4% of Florida adults (9). 

Not a Lab Rat Day is an opportunity and vehicle for students to take action against these companies that prey upon young people.  Students Working Against Tobacco of Bradford County Chapter are excited for the future opportunities that will arise from taking this stance and making sure their peers are educated to make the best decisions for themselves. 

If you are interested in adopting a tobacco free worksite policy, or to learn more about our Tobacco Prevention efforts please contact Candace Osteen – costeen@quitdoc.com

For more information on SWAT, visit swatflorida.com/not-a-lab-rat/ or follow us on Instagram at @swatflorida.

References:
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  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General—Executive Summary. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2016.
  2. Kirkham, Chris. "Altria to Buy $12.8 Billion Minority Stake in E-cigarette Company Juul." Reuters. 20 Dec. 2018. www.reuters.com/article/us-juul-altriagroup-m-a/altria-to-buy-12-8-billion-minority-stake-in-e-cigarette-company-juul-idUSKCN1OJ1JS (Accessed 27 Aug  2019)
  3. Kirkham, Chris. “Special Report: Juul copycats flood e-cig market, despite FDA rule.” Reuters. 24 Sept. 2018. www.reuters.com/article/us-vaping-regulation-juul-specialreport/special-report-juul-copycats-flood-e-cig-market-despite-fda-rule-idUSKCN1M418W (Accessed 27 Aug 2019)
  4. I USA V. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al., No. 99-CV-02496GK (U.S. Dist. Ct., D.C.), Final Opinion, August 17, 2006.
  5. Kirkham, Chris. "Altria to Buy $12.8 Billion Minority Stake in E-cigarette Company Juul." Reuters. 20 Dec. 2018. www.reuters.com/article/us-juul-altriagroup-m-a/altria-to-buy-12-8-billion-minority-stake-in-e-cigarette-company-juul-idUSKCN1OJ1JS (Accessed 27 Aug 2019)
  6. Kirkham, Chris. “Special Report: Juul copycats flood e-cig market, despite FDA rule.” Reuters. 24 Sept. 2018. www.reuters.com/article/us-vaping-regulation-juul-specialreport/special-report-juul-copycats-flood-e-cig-market-despite-fda-rule-idUSKCN1M418W (Access 27 Aug 2019)
  7. Kirkham, Chris. “Special Report: Juul copycats flood e-cig market, despite FDA rule.” Reuters. 24 Sept. 2018. www.reuters.com/article/us-vaping-regulation-juul-specialreport/special-report-juul-copycats-flood-e-cig-market-despite-fda-rule-idUSKCN1M418W (Access 27 Aug 2019)
  8. Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS), Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, 2019.
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. BRFSS Prevalence & Trends Data [online]. 2017. [accessed Aug 28, 2019]. URL: https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/brfssprevalence/.