The Quit Doc Tobacco Control Program in Martin County is Featured on WSTU-AM during Coaches Corner
October 1 , 2013

Dr. Barry Hummel, Communications Director of the Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation, and Ally Diaz, President of the Martin County High School Students Working Against Tobacco Club, were featured guests on the Coaches Corner Radio Program on WSTU-AM 1450. The live interview aired on October 1, 2013.

The interview covered a range of topics, including the local Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Program, which Quit Doc has been funding through a grant from the Florida Department of Health since 2008. There are currently SWAT Clubs in all five middle schools, all three high schools, and all five local Boys & Girls Clubs.

WSTU Interview

Ally Diaz shared some of the projects that are getting underway at Martin County High School. As the President of both SWAT and the Martin County Leadership Club, Ally has been looking for joint projects. She shared with Mike Thomas, the host of Coaches Corner, her passion to work on the emerging issue of electronic cigarettes.

"About two weekends ago, I took two of my committee members with me to the Regional SWAT Meeting, and we gave a presentation on e-cigarettes," Ally shared.

"We've also helped pass certain Resolutions [on flavored tobacco] in the City of Stuart and Martin County."

"So you passed some Resolutions... that's more than just going and talking to people," joked Mike Thomas. "You glossed over that. I would have started with that."

"It's second nature to them," interjected Dr. Hummel. "I can't imagine being Ally's age and going down to the County Commission and saying 'Hey, guys, I'd like to have this Resolution on Flavored Tobacco," added Dr. Hummel.

The local Resolutions have become part of a growing movement in Florida. Over 150 municipalities and over 45 Counties have passed local Resolutions asking retailers to voluntarily stop the sale of flavored products that target underage minors. While this has had little impact (as Resolutions are unenforceable), the project has demonstrated a need in Florida for stronger action.

Dr. Hummel also discussed a video project written by and featuring SWAT students from six counties in North Florida, and produced by Quit Doc. "We had a request for a video on flavored tobacco to share with some lawmakers in Washington," said Dr. Hummel. "We let the kids write basically one sentence, two sentence facts about flavored tobacco. They covered all kinds of things... flavored cigarettes, flavored cigars, electronic cigarettes, hookah. We built a little studio in our office in Ocala with a green screen, and we had the students stand up and do these lines of dialogue. Then we were able to string them together into a 5-and-a-half minute video... and we went back in post and put examples of what they were talking about behind them."

The finished video has been shared with legislators in both Tallahassee and Washington DC, as well as members of the FDA and The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

"What comes out of the videos, and being sent to the people at the FDA and all these other organizations?" asked host Mike Thomas.

"This was to show a concern on the part of students in Florida," replied Dr. Hummel "The idea of going to the FDA was to say 'Hey! Florida's got a problem with these flavored tobacco products. 'Can you take a look at this and help us out with some rules.'"

 

"Dr. Hummel, you are constantly bringing in people... a long line of people now that have been very proactive in the community," said Mike Thomas," and that's a testament to what SWAT does as a program... that it attracts the right type of people, and then stimulates them to the point where they can go out there and make a difference."

You can view the full interview here:


WSTU-AM 1450, Coaches Corner, October 1, 2013.

To learn more or to get involved with a local SWAT Club, contact Kim Waser, SWAT Coordinator at kwaser@quitdoc.com.