LAUDERHILL — The Lauderhill City Commission recently passed a resolution urging tobacco retailers to restrict the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products in the Broward city.
Passage came following the efforts of the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) program at the Broward County Health Department and the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Broward County.
“I commend the City of Lauderhill for their efforts to protect the health of their residents,” said Dr. Paula Thaqi, director, Broward County Health Department.
A statement from the department said tobacco companies use youth-oriented, colorful and stylish packaging to attract adolescents to candy-flavored tobacco. The U.S. Surgeon General has said that adolescent experimentation with smoking can be directly attributed to tobacco advertising and promotional activities, the department stated.
Flavored tobacco products are defined as loose tobacco, including snuff flour, plug and twist tobacco, fine cuts, chewing tobacco, snus, smoking and snuffing tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco products and blunt wraps.
SWAT is a statewide youth organization which aims to mobilize, educate and equip youth to work against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. Florida youth named and designed the SWAT framework and the “Truth” marketing campaign.
The organization was created in 1998 for youth to lead their peers to reduce teen smoking and to highlight the risk of tobacco use among youth.
There are 25 SWAT chapters functioning in Broward County — 18 in middle and high schools and seven that are community-based and actively educate their communities through participation in Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meetings, community events and presentations to local businesses and government officials.
Photo: COURTESY OF BROWARD COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
MAKING THEIR PITCH: Students from the Lauderhill Parks & Recreation’s SWAT Chapter successfully petition the Lauderhill Commission to restrict the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products. The comission approved the proposal on Jan. 9.