News and Events

Dixie County Students Working Against Tobacco Clubs Focus on Youth E-Cigarette Use During the Not a Lab Rat Campaign
October 31, 2018

The Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) of Dixie County has noticed an alarming rapid increase of e-cigarette use, dual use and the possible public health implications of these trends in Dixie County. On the 2018 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, 31.5% of Dixie County Youth reported to have tried electronic vaping and 18.8% of Dixie County Youth are current users of electronic vaping.  This is a growing concern at the schools due to the lack of knowledge by the administration and parents of the new products.  E-Cigs, vape pens, flash drives, juules, personal vaporizers, tanks, mods and etc. are seen by youth as a safe, water vaper with flavored juices.  The Dixie County SWAT clubs wanted to educate their peers and school staff that these products are nicotine delivery devices that according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are not harmless.

All three Dixie County SWAT Clubs held school wide events to support SWAT’s Not A Lab Rat campaign focused on electronic cigarette use. In the Month of November, the Dixie County SWAT youth reminded their peers that most of these ENDS products are sold before they are tested. Just like cigarettes before people learned about the over 7,0000 chemicals in cigarettes with 69 known to cause cancer, studies and tests have not been conducted to assess the long term effects of the chemicals in the vape juice. 

There is misinformation regarding the safety (or lack thereof) of e-cigarettes.

The Dixie County High School held a booth during both lunches so that every high school student in Dixie County could learn more about how they are being used as lab rats by the ENDS industry.  Many students shared with SWAT that they believed that vaping devices are safe because they are just water vaper or just fruit juice. They were unaware that many of these aerosols may contain nicotine, diacetyl, benzene, and heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead.

While conventional cigarette use has reached an all-time low, use of e-cigarettes by Florida youth has increased at an alarming rate.

The Character Community School SWAT Club presented to their school and had students sign a commitment selfie sheet that stated they are Not a Lab Rat and that they are someone special enough to not be used for testing. Many of the students shared that they have quit smoking cigarettes and little cigars but have switched to vaping because they see them as safe and cleaner.

E-cigarettes companies are using the same marketing practices that traditional tobacco companies used for decades to recruit “replacement smokers.”

The Ruth Rains Middle School held an information booth at a RRMS Basketball game and also had students and adults to committee to not use ENDS and not become a Lab Rat. They youth also shared information about the Amendment 9 that passed that will ban the use of electronic cigarette’s and/or vaping in workplaces.