News and Events

Chiefland Passes Flavored Tobacco Resolution
May 11, 2015

On May 11, 2015, the City of Chiefland unanimously passed a resolution concerning the sale of flavored tobacco products, joining the Board of County Commissioners and the list of municipalities in Levy County that have passed similar resolutions to date. The City of Chiefland also completes the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) program’s flavored tobacco resolution initiative for Levy County.  

SWAT members from Chiefland Middle High School, 10th grader Elena Richardson and 7th grader Emma Ronchetti, presented to the Chiefland City Commissioners and educated them about the dangers of flavored tobacco products. The students talked to the City Commissioners about the fact that the tobacco industry deliberately packages and flavors these products like candy to attract the eye of vulnerable youth. The students passed around a bowl full of actual flavored tobacco products and encouraged the commissioners to open the packages and smell the sweet flavors.
SWAT Youth

The SWAT members also educated the commissioners 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, Elena said “I was nervous at first about speaking in front of the Chiefland Commissioners, but afterwards it felt really great.” She added, “For them to quickly pass the resolution right after our presentation really showed how much they support the SWAT movement.”

SWAT member Emma Ronchetti also had a very positive experience. She said, “I feel this whole event built my confidence, my character, and my public speaking skills.” She continued, “This experience was very stressful, but I pushed through it and completed what I thought was going to kill me. As they say, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ and I am very happy [to be] a part of helping pass this resolution.”

In Levy County to date, the Levy Board of County Commissioners, the cities of Williston and Cedar Key, and the towns of Bronson, Inglis, and Otter Creek 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.