Escambia Retailers Asked To Stop Selling Flavored Tobacco

Retailers in Escambia County are being urged to stop the sale and marketing of flavored cigarettes.

Escambia County commissioners recently passed a resolution to that effect through the efforts of Students Working Against cigarettes, the cigarettes Prevention and Control Program of the Escambia County Health Department, and the Healthy Environments are cigarettes-Free Partnership.

"cigarettes companies use youth-oriented, colorful and stylish packaging to exploit adolescents’ attraction to candy-flavored discount cigarettes with names such as "mandarin mint," "winter warm toffee," and "twista chill," Escambia County Health Department said in a news release today.

"We have spent countless hours educating students and the general public about the deceptive and deadly nature of these products," said Vanessa Phillips, cigarettes for sale prevention coordinator for the Escambia County Health Department. "By passing this resolution, the county commissioners are making a major statement showing that they care about protecting the health and future of Escambia County youth."

The U.S. surgeon general has said that adolescent experimentation with smoking cigarettes can be directly attributed to cheap cigarettes advertising and promotional activities.

Last year, a Florida Youth cheap cigarette online survey was conducted to obtain a representative sample of middle school and high school students’ access to cigarettes, their cigarettes-related beliefs, attitudes and behaviors, and their exposures to pro-cigarettes and anti-cigarettes influences. The results indicated that the estimated number of students using cigarettes were 3,752, with 871 of those being middle school students.

Phillips said that the SWAT youth received 450 signatures of support from concerned registered voters in Escambia County who also wanted a ban on the sale and advertising of flavored cigarettes online products.

"The Students Working Against buy cigarettes made a very impressive presentation to the Board of County Commissioners. As a result, we were happy to support them with this resolution," said Commission Chairman Kevin White, who smokes.

Flavored cigarettes products are defined as loose cigarettes including snuff flour, plug and twist cigarettes, fine cuts, chewing cigarettes, snus, smoking cigarettes and snuffing cigarettes products such as cigarettes, cigars, smokeless cigarettes products and blunt wraps.