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Florida's Efforts to Prevent Youth Smoking are Under Attack!

Our work to fund Tobacco Free Florida is under attack! Earlier this month, the Finance and Taxation Committee of the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) voted in favor of Proposal 94 to reallocate 20% of all future funding earmarked for the state’s Tobacco Free Florida program to cancer research. The proposal now heads to the full commission for a vote.

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Preventing Youth Smoking Must be Our #1 Goal

While funding cancer research is important, it is better to prevent cancer than undergo treatment. Tobacco use is linked to cancer, heart and lung diseases, and premature death. Preventing kids from ever trying their first cigarette must continue to be our number one our goal. Since Tobacco Free Florida launched in 2007, the state's youth smoking rate has decreased by more than 70% from 2006 to 2016. Amazing! And the state has a youth smoking rate well below the national average, despite the following factors: 

  • Florida is the third most populous state. 
  • For every dollar Tobacco Free Florida spends on preventing tobacco use, the tobacco industry spends approximately $8.70 in marketing their products in Florida. In fact, the tobacco industry spends nearly $559 million each year to market its products to Florida citizens, according to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider the program under-funded. If funding is reduced, we will lose so much progress. 

Find out more about why the American Heart Association and every public health organization agrees that it's a bad idea to raid Tobacco Free Florida funds for cancer research in this excellent Sun Sentinel op-ed by Maureen Mann, treasurer of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and executive director of Lynn Cancer Institute and Lynn Women's Health and Wellness Institute in Boca Raton.

Next Steps

Starting February 6, the CRC will host five public hearings across the state; see below. The public is welcomed to attend the hearings and share their ideas for revising the Florida Constitution. After the public hearings conclude, the CRC will vote on which proposals make it to the November 8th ballot. The American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and other public health organizations are working hard to ensure Proposal 94 doesn't make it to the ballot box.

We invite you to join us at a public hearing near you. Click here to inform us you plan to attend. We'll follow up with you via email as details unfold. 

City Date Time Location
Fort Lauderdale Tuesday, February 6

1:00 - 7:00 PM EST

**We will meet at 6PM.

Rick Case Arena at the Don Taft University Center
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
Melbourne Monday, February 19 1:00 - 7:00 PM EST Eastern Florida State College
Maxwell C. King Center
3865 North Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
Jacksonville Tuesday, February 20 1:00 - 7:00 PM EST University of North Florida
Herbert University Center
12000 Alumni Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224
Pensacola Tuesday, February 27 1:00 - 7:00 PM EST University of West Florida
Conference Center & Ballroom
11000 University Parkway, Building 22
Pensacola, FL 32514
St. Petersburg  Tuesday, March 13 1:00 - 7:00 PM EST University of South Florida - St. Petersburg
University Student Center
200 6th Ave S
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Visit www.flcrc.gov/about/history to learn more about the CRC.

Last updated January 29, 2018.

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