News and Events

Town of Otter Creek Passes Flavored Tobacco Resolution
November 18 , 2013

On November 18, 2013, the Town of Otter Creek passed a resolution concerning the sale of flavored tobacco products, joining the growing list of municipalities in Levy County that have passed similar resolutions to date. 

Levy County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Representative, 9th grader Emily Manis, presented to the Otter Creek Town Council and educated them about the dangers of flavored tobacco products.  She made the point that the tobacco industry deliberately packages and flavors these products like candy to attract the eye of vulnerable youth. Emily passed around a bowl full of actual flavored tobacco products and encouraged the council members to open the packages and smell the sweet flavors. Each of the council members agreed that the flavors and colors of the packages resemble candy and they were appalled that these products are available in Levy County.

Otter Creek Presentation
Emily Manis presents before the Otter Creek Town Council

Emily also educated the council members about the facts that many of Levy County’s tobacco retailers are near schools and flavored cigars are often used by youth for drugs. When asked about her experience, she says “I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to present to the Otter Creek Town Council. It was a great experience, as it always is when I get to educate decision makers, and our resolution passed unanimously. Thank you, Otter Creek!”

Levy County Tobacco Prevention Specialist, Kristina Zachry, felt that the Otter Creek Town Council was “fully supportive of the resolution and they asked great questions about the information that was presented to them.” She also noted that the council’s attorney “drafted up the resolution language and one month later, at their regular meeting they voted to pass the resolution with little discussion.”

In Levy County to date, the Levy Board of County Commissioners, the cities of Williston and Cedar Key, 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 to show support for future statewide policy that may address those loopholes.

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