News and Events

Bell Town Council Passes Resolution Encouraging Local Businesses to Halt the Sale of Flavored Tobacco That Targets Youth
June 9, 2014

According to the latest Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, students in Gilchrist County use all forms of tobacco including cigarettes, smokeless products, and cigars at higher levels than their peers across the state. When Gilchrist County high school students were asked if they have ever tried alternative products such as flavored cigars, snus, and e-cigarettes, the results also showed that Gilchrist students try these products at higher rates than other youth around the state.  

With this in mind, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) members have been working to change the way the community sees these kinds of tobacco products. They are educating community members on how sales of flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products can lead to experimentation with, and eventual regular use of, tobacco products.  SWAT youth met with the Town Manager of the Town of Bell, and also spoke at a Town Council meeting to explain the problem of flavored tobacco use and how can lead to youth becoming addicted to nicotine.

As a result, the Town Council passed a resolution encouraging all tobacco retailers to stop selling flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes.  The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners led the way on this issue when they passed a similar resolution in 2013.

Passing a resolution asking retailers to stop selling products that appeal to the young people of Gilchrist County is an important step in youth tobacco prevention.  In August, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that teen use of e-cigarettes has increased three-fold between 2011 and 2014, and many e-cigarettes are marketed with flavors such as gummi bears, Thin Mint (as in Girl Scout cookies), cotton candy, and other flavors that are attractive to kids. 

Flavored Nicotine

What makes this even more alarming is that young people who have tried e-cigarettes have more intention to use regular cigarettes in the future than youth who have never tried e-cigarettes.  This is another piece of evidence that tobacco and nicotine products that are attractive to children do, in fact, attract children to try them.

The members of Gilchrist County SWAT members are proud to live in a community with leaders who care about this issue and are willing to say it’s not okay to sell tobacco products that attract kids.

For more information on local tobacco prevention issues, contact Tracy DeCubellis at