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Why does a deadly, addictive product that is supposed to be for adults look and smell like candy?

Chocolate, caramel, cinnamon apple… These are just a few of the thousands of sweet and fruity flavors available in tobacco products. The FDA banned the sale of flavored cigarettes (other than menthol) in 2009. But flavored e-cigarettes, e-liquids, cigars, hookah, and chewing tobacco continue to be sold. These products use kid-friendly flavors, colorful packaging, and low prices to entice young people. The sweet flavors mask the harshness of the nicotine and keep kids coming back until they become addicted.

Lifelong addiction often starts out sweet.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 80% of young people who have ever used a tobacco product started with a flavored product. 2018 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal a surge in use between 2017 and 2018 with one in five high school students and one in twenty middle school students currently using e-cigarettes.

Santa Cruz County Policy Makers Support Tobacco Laws that Protect Our Kids

Local policy makers understand that restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products is a critical step to preventing another generation of young people from living with a lifetime of addiction. In November of 2018, the City of Santa Cruz became the first jurisdiction in the County to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol. By the end of 2019, the cities of Capitola and Watsonville, and the County Unincorporated Area, had all passed similar bans that will go into effect on Janaury 1, 2020. We thank these policy makers for their leadership!

Help Us Spread the Word about the Dangers of Flavored Tobacco Products

Come to TEC meetings to strategize about next steps! Members have the opportunity to participate in activities such as: conducting public opinion polls about flavored tobacco products; conducting retail store surveys; attending educational meetings with local policy makers; writing letters, articles and op-eds for local publications.

Flavored Tobacco Resources

California Department of Public Health
CDC Tip Sheet for Parents on Talking with Your Teen About E-cigarettes
cdc.gov/tobacco/features/back-to-school/e-cigarettes-talk-to-youth-about-risks
www.flavorshookkids.org
tobaccofreeca.com/e-cigarettes

 
In The NEWS

New! On October 22, 2019 the Watsonville City Council passed a ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol.  Watsonville joins the cities of Capitola and Santa Cruz, and the County Unincorporated Area in banning the sale of these addictive products.  Watsonville also placed a temorary ban on the sale of electronic smoking devices and prohibited the sale of all tobacco products in pharmacies. Thank you to everyone who wrote letters, held signs, or spoke in support of these important public health ordinances!

 

TEC Mission Statement

The Santa Cruz County Tobacco Education Coalition (TEC) is committed to promoting and advocating a tobacco-free lifestyle and environment at the local, state, and national levels. We empower our communities to effect individual and social change through education, advocacy, collaboration, and coordination of resources.  The Coalition recognizes individual rights and cultural traditions, while encouraging community responsibility and involvement.

 

Information

Report Smoking Violations
(831) 454-4319

If you want to make a complaint about a smoking violation inside a building, call (831) 454-4319 or fill out this electronic form.


Tobacco Retail Licenses (TRL)
Looking for information about how to obtain a Tobacco Retailer’s License? Click here.

 

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