News and Events

Stuart City Commissioners Pass a Resolution Urging Retailers to Stop Selling Flavored Tobacco Products That Target Youth

On Monday, February 25th, the Martin County Tobacco Prevention Specialist Kim Waser spoke before the City of Stuart Commissioners, urging them to adopt a resolution recommending that retailers in the City stop marketing and selling candy flavored tobacco products, which are proven to engage youth in tobacco use.

The Resolution, sponsored by Commissioner Glass Leighton and presented by Mayor Eula Clarke, passed unanimously, demonstrating that the City of Stuart Commissioners take seriously their commitment to protect the health and safety of the entire community, including Martin County’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens.

Stuart City Commissioners
From L to R: Michael Durham (City Attorney), Paul J. Nicoletti (City Manager), James Christie Jr., (Commissioner, Group I), Jeffrey Krauskopf (Commissioner, Group II), Mayor Eula Clarke (Commissioner, Group V), Vice Mayor Troy McDonald (Commissioner, Group III), and Kelli Glass-Leighton (Commissioner, Group IV).

By adopting this Resolution, the City became part of a state-wide movement to encourage the Florida Legislature to pass new laws regulating the sale of these products and keeping them out of the hands of underage minors.  132 individual cities, and 44 of Florida’s 67 Counties have passed similar resolutions, encouraging retailers to voluntarily stop the sale of flavored tobacco products in their community.

Internal industry documents released during the Master Settlement Agreement revealed that fruit-flavored and candy-flavored tobacco products were created to intentionally target youth.  Studies have found that youth use these flavored products at rates three times higher than adults. 

“They have become the ‘starter-products’ of choice among children and teenagers,” said Dr. Barry Hummel of Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation.  “This is especially important since 85% of new tobacco users start between the ages of 12 and 17, prior to the legal age.”

These new products are also sold in brightly-colored packages that mimic actual candy products.  Some of the products, such as snus, do not even identify that the package contains tobacco.  This leads to confusion among store clerks, making it easier for underage teens to purchase the products without providing identification.

Many of these products are sold in the retail outlets where teenagers most frequently shop.  Students Working Against Tobacco Clubs in Martin County conducted surveillance in 2010 and 2011, and found that 75% of retailers within three miles of our Middle and High Schools sold flavored tobacco products.

“This Resolution is identical to one passed by the Martin County Board of County Commissioners in September 2011,” said Kim Waser.  “This awareness of the risks of flavored tobacco products will help us to continue to reduce youth tobacco use in our community”.