News and Events

City of Cedar Key Passes Flavored Tobacco Resolution
September 17 , 2013

On September 17th, Cedar Key joined the growing list of cities in Levy County that have passed a resolution concerning the sale of flavored tobacco products.

Two Levy County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) members presented to the Cedar Key City Council and educated them about the dangers of flavored tobacco products.  The students made the point that the tobacco industry deliberately packages and flavors these products like candy to attract the eye of vulnerable youth.

SWAT Youth Address Cedar Key City Council
SWAT Youth address the Cedar Key City Council.

Kent Sloan, a seventh grader and SWAT member at Cedar Key School, said “I am really excited that I got to speak to the city council for SWAT that that our resolution passed unanimously.” This was Kent’s first experience presenting to a city council to ask for a policy change and he is looking forward to presenting to the city of Otter Creek in the near future to ask for a similar resolution.

Levy County SWAT Representative, Emily Manis, who was recently elected to the statewide SWAT Youth Advocacy Board, is no stranger to public speaking. In addition to presenting about Point of Sale tobacco issues at the Region 2 SWAT meeting, she has presented to the School Board of Levy County in the recent past to advocate for a stronger school tobacco policy.  She was excited to educate the Cedar Key City Council about the facts that many of Levy County’s tobacco retailers are near schools and flavored cigars are often used by youth for drugs. “I am super exuberant that I got to speak to the Cedar Key City Council, as public speaking is one thing that I love to do,” said Emily. “I love that our resolution passed with no discussion.”

Sloan and Manis
Levy County SWAT Youth Kent Sloan and Emily Manis.

In Levy County to date, the Levy Board of County Commissioners, the city of Williston, and the towns of Bronson and Inglis have passed similar resolutions. These resolutions are part of a broader statewide movement to educate lawmakers about loopholes in the current Food and Drug Administration’s rules on flavored tobacco and pass policy on a statewide level that addresses those loopholes.

Levy County Tobacco Prevention Specialist, Kristina Zachry, feels that these resolutions are “an excellent empowerment and public speaking opportunity for the SWAT members, and a great way to educate our communities and decision makers about these dangerous products.” Ms. Zachry also noted that the Cedar Key City Council was “fully supportive of the SWAT students that presented to them and they voted to pass a resolution immediately following the students’ presentation.”

For more information on this and other youth tobacco issues, contact Kristina Zachry at kzachry@quitdoc.com.