News and Events

Martin County Board of County Commissioners Passes Two Tobacco Prevention Resolutions
By Barry Hummel, Jr., MD, Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation
September 27, 2011

On September 27, 2011, the Martin County Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed two resolutions addressing local youth tobacco prevention issues.  The resolutions were brought before the Board of County Commissioners by Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Martin County.
    
The first resolution is designed to encourage the Florida Legislature to remove the so-called Preemption Clause from the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act (FCIAA) of 2003. 
    
The FCIAA was created to protect workers from secondhand smoke exposure.  The law included a section that "expressly preempts regulation of smoking to the state and supersedes any municipal or county ordinance on the subject”.  The way this section is currently written, local communities are prohibited from passing any local rules regulating outdoor smoking.  As a result, cities and counties have been unable to freely create smoke-free parks, playgrounds, or beaches.
    
Recently, local communities throughout Florida have started to petition the Florida Legislature to restore local control over outdoor smoking, allowing municipalities to pass common sense rules that reflect the needs and wishes of the community.
    
Martin County SWAT Youth have been working on the issue of smoke-free parks and beaches for two years.  There has been broad-based support for such smoking restrictions in Martin County, including support among members of the Board of County Commissioners.  SWAT and the Tobacco Free Partnership felt the time was right to have the Martin County Board of County Commissioners join the growing list of communities asking the Florida Legislature to finally remove the restrictive regulatory language contained in the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act.
     
After Giovanni Sancho, Kashia Darville, and Aaliyah Darville, SWAT youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Martin County, presented their compelling argument to the Board of County Commissioners, the Commissioners voted unanimously to pass the resolution and forward it onto the Martin County Legislative Delegation.

Video of Martin County Commission Meeting
Resolution to Remove Preemption Clause from Florida Clean Indoor Air Act September 27, 2011

 

Immediately following the passage of the first resolution, a second resolution was brought forward asking retailers to voluntarily restrict the sale of candy-flavored and fruit-flavored tobacco products in Martin County.

This resolution is also part of a statewide movement in Florida to reduce the availability of these products which are designed and marketed to youth.  Currently 25 Florida cities and 30 Florida Counties have similar resolutions.  While the resolutions ask for voluntary restrictions on the sale of such products, the hope is that the movement will encourage the Florida Legislature to address this through statewide legislation.

Two SWAT youth from Martin County High School, Megan Koenig and Rebeca De La Espriella, provided an overview of the issue to the Board of County Commissioners.  This was followed by a brief presentation by Dr. Barry Hummel, who displayed a number of these products for the Commissioners.

Video of Martin County Commission Meeting
Resolution to Restrict the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products
September 27, 2011

 

 
After the presentation, the Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the resolution.  Commissioner Ed Fielding also suggested that the issue be added to the Martin County’s list of Legislative Priorities for the upcoming 2012 Florida Legislative Session.

Congratulations to all of our local SWAT Youth for their hard work on these projects!

BOCC Meeting Presenters

Tobacco Free Partnership and SWAT Members at BOCC Meeting, from L to R:
Dana Ford (Hobe Sound Boys and Girls Club SWAT Advisor), Giovanni Sancho (Boys and Girls Club SWAT), Genaris Haston (Martin County SWAT Coordinator), Aaliyah Darville (Boys and Girls Club SWAT),
Dr. Barry Hummel (Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation), Kashia Darville (Boys and Girls Club SWAT), Rebeca
De La Espriella (Martin County High School SWAT), Sarah Ciampi (Martin County High School SWAT), Megan Koenig (President, Martin County High School SWAT), and Valerie Graham (Martin County Tobacco Prevention Specialist).