New York City Officials Approve Raising Tobacco Purchase Age to 21

October 31, 2013

In a victory for public health advocates, the New York City Council voted this week to approve raising the legal age that people can purchase tobacco to 21. The news was reported by CNN.

In addition to the “Tobacco 21” bill, which includes electronic cigarettes, the council also approved a second bill, “Sensible Tobacco Enforcement.” It will prohibit discounts on tobacco products and increase enforcement on vendors who attempt to evade taxes.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has 30 days to sign the bills into law. Given his previous support, that is likely to happen soon.

“By increasing the smoking age to 21, we will help prevent another generation from the ill health and shorter life expectancy that comes with smoking,” Bloomberg said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Tobacco 21” will take effect 180 days after it is enacted, according to the council’s news release.
New York City has now become the largest city to have an age limit as high as 21. Needham, Massachusetts, raised the sale age to 21 in 2005, according to the New York City Department of Health.

Neighboring states and counties have raised the tobacco sale age to 19, including New Jersey in 2005, the Department of Health said.

Raising the sales age “will protect teens and may prevent many people from ever starting to smoke,” Health Commissioner Thomas A. Farley, said in a statement after the vote.


Cigarette Restitution Fund Mini-Grant, MD

October 30, 2013

Description: The Queen Anne’s County Department of Health Cigarette Restitution Fund Program would like to invite your organization to apply for a Cigarette Restitution Fund mini-grant. Grants of up to $500 or less are being made available to non-profit organizations in the county to be used for tobacco prevention and/or cessation activities to educate youth, adults and pregnant women about the dangers of tobacco use as well as counter-advertising campaigns that uncover the deadly hidden agenda of tobacco companies. These grants will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Funds Available: For Fiscal Year 2014 which is from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 the local Health Department has $4,000 in funds to award community organizations. Organizations can apply for up to $500. Consideration will be given for projects implemented in conjunction with one of the following Tobacco Awareness Campaigns below:

Red Ribbon Week (Oct. 23rd – Oct. 31st, 2013)

Great American Smokeout (November 21, 2013)

Tobacco Awarness Month (January 2014)

Kick Butts Day (March 19, 2014)

World No Tobacco Day/Month (May 31, 2014)

Applications will be evaluated according to the rating system below:

Rating System:

Completion of current budget pages to which budget supports planned activities

Targets minority populations

Reaches 10 or more

Applicant’s performance on past contractual services (please note if 1st time grant recipient)

Grant application includes activity(ies)/event(s) planned in conjunction with a tobacco awarenss campaign(s)

Requirements of Grantees if Awarded:

Submit activity reports within 30 days of completion of your activity to Health Department

Submit receipts for all expenses within 30 days of completion of activity to Health Department.

Our mini-grant applications are reviewed by the Caroline County Cigarette Restitution Fund Program staff to avoid any conflict of interest issues.

If you have any questions regarding this opportunity, please contact Dorine Bowser-Fassett at 443-262-4424 at the Queen Anne’s County Department of Health Cigarette Restitution Fund Program.

Application deadline is 6/30/14


Botvin LifeSkills Training Program Aligned to Common Core

October 29, 2013


October 29, 2013

Botvin LifeSkills Training Program Aligned to Common Core

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST), the leading evidence-based prevention program used in schools, has produced an easy-to-use Common Core Alignment for their Middle School program. These correlate to all four ELA Anchor Standards (reading, writing, language, and listening and speaking).

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for K-12. The standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared for college programs or the workforce. The LST Alignment matches the program’s objectives to the Common Core’s Anchor Standards of English Language Arts by anchor standard and by program level, and easily identifies which skill is addressed by level, book, and page number.

“School districts can now quickly see how well LST supports the academic goals of the Common Core standards,” said Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, professor emeritus at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College and developer of the LSTprogram. “In fact, whether a district is following the Common Core or not, these alignments demonstrate extra value that the LST program provides in addressing important ELA skills and thus academic achievement.”

About Botvin LifeSkills Training

Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is an evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program used in schools and communities throughout the US and in 36 countries around the world. LST has been extensively tested and proven to reduce tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much as 80%. It is effective when implemented with different delivery formats, when taught by different providers, and when delivered to different populations. It also works with elementary school, middle school, and high school students. Long-term follow-up studies also show that it produces prevention effects which are durable and long-lasting. For more information call 800-293-4969 or visit


Paulina Kalaj


Flavored Cigarettes and Little Cigars Used by More Than 40 Percent of Middle and High School Smokers

October 29, 2013

More than two out of every five middle and high school students who smoke report using either flavored little cigars or flavored cigarettes, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. This article, using data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), is the first to measure how many American youth are using flavored little cigars and flavored cigarettes.

The study also shows that among youth cigar smokers, almost 60 percent of those who smoke flavored little cigars are not thinking about quitting tobacco use, compared with just over 49 percent among all other cigar smokers.
“Flavored or not, cigars cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and many other health problems. Flavored little cigars appeal to youth and the use of these tobacco products may lead to disfigurement, disability, and premature death,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. ”We need to take comprehensive steps to reduce all tobacco use for all of our youth.”
The study found that 35.4 percent of current youth cigarette smokers reported using flavored cigarettes, which could include menthol cigarettes or flavored little cigars that students mistook for flavored cigarettes. In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was enacted and prohibited the use of flavors, except menthol, in cigarettes. However, flavored little cigars are still manufactured and sold with candy and fruit flavorings.

“Little cigars contain the same toxic and cancer-causing ingredients found in cigarettes and are not a safe alternative to cigarettes,” said Tim McAfee, MD, MPH, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “Many flavored little cigars appear virtually indistinguishable from cigarettes with similar sizes, shapes, filters, and packaging.”

In addition to offering a wide variety of flavors that appeal to young people, little cigars are taxed at a lower rate than cigarettes at the state level. Little cigars have become more popular in recent years; sales increased 240 percent from 1997 to 2007, with flavored brands making up almost 80 percent of the market share.

Earlier this month, Dr. Gary Giovino, a University of Buffalo, SUNY professor, authored a guest post on CADCA’s Blog about the findings of a recent study on menthol cigarette use among young people. Click here to read “Menthol Cigarettes: More Sweetening, Same Poisons”.


Electronic Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students

October 28, 2013


Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that provide doses of nicotine and other additives to the user in an aerosol. Depending on the brand, e-cigarette cartridges typically contain nicotine, a component to produce the aerosol (e.g., propylene glycol or glycerol), and flavorings (e.g., fruit, mint, or chocolate) (1). Potentially harmful constituents also have been documented in some e-cigarette cartridges, including irritants, genotoxins, and animal carcinogens (1). E-cigarettes that are not marketed for therapeutic purposes are currently unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and in most states there are no restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Use of e-cigarettes has increased among U.S. adult current and former smokers in recent years (2); however, the extent of use among youths is uncertain.

Data from the 2011 and 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), a school-based, pencil-and-paper questionnaire given to U.S. middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students, were used to estimate the prevalence of ever and current (≥1 day in the past 30 days) use of e-cigarettes, ever and current (≥1 day in the past 30 days) use of conventional cigarettes, and use of both. NYTS consists of a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample of students in grades 6–12 from all 50 states and the District of Columbia (3).

During 2011–2012, among all students in grades 6–12, ever e-cigarette use increased from 3.3% to 6.8% (p<0.05) (Figure); current e-cigarette use increased from 1.1% to 2.1% (p<0.05), and current use of both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes increased from 0.8% to 1.6% (p<0.05). In 2012, among ever e-cigarette users, 9.3% reported never smoking conventional cigarettes; among current e-cigarette users, 76.3% reported current conventional cigarette smoking.

Among middle school students, ever e-cigarette use increased from 1.4% to 2.7% during 2011–2012 (p<0.05) (Figure); current e-cigarette use increased from 0.6% to 1.1% (p<0.05), and current use of both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes increased from 0.3% to 0.7% (p<0.05). In 2012, among middle school ever e-cigarette users, 20.3% reported never smoking conventional cigarettes; among middle school current e-cigarette users, 61.1% reported current conventional cigarette smoking.

Among high school students, ever e-cigarette use increased from 4.7% to 10.0% during 2011–2012 (p<0.05) (Figure); current e-cigarette use increased from 1.5% to 2.8% (p<0.05), and current use of both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes increased from 1.2% to 2.2% (p<0.05). In 2012, among high school ever e-cigarette users, 7.2% reported never smoking conventional cigarettes; among high school current e-cigarette users, 80.5% reported current conventional cigarette smoking.

E-cigarette experimentation and recent use doubled among U.S. middle and high school students during 2011–2012, resulting in an estimated 1.78 million students having ever used e-cigarettes as of 2012. Moreover, in 2012, an estimated 160,000 students who reported ever using e-cigarettes had never used conventional cigarettes. This is a serious concern because the overall impact of e-cigarette use on public health remains uncertain. In youths, concerns include the potential negative impact of nicotine on adolescent brain development (4), as well as the risk for nicotine addiction and initiation of the use of conventional cigarettes or other tobacco products.

CDC and the Food and Drug Administration will continue to explore ways to increase surveillance and research on e-cigarettes. Given the rapid increase in use and youths’ susceptibility to social and environmental influences to use tobacco, developing strategies to prevent marketing, sales, and use of e-cigarettes among youths is critical.


Poll of Teens Finds 77 Percent Say They Don’t Drink Alcohol

October 25, 2013

A poll of high school teens finds 77 percent say they don’t drink alcohol. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which released the poll, 69 percent of teens say they don’t drink, and an additional 8 percent say they used to drink, but don’t anymore.

When asked why they don’t drink, teens said their top five reasons were because it’s illegal, it can be harmful to their health, it can affect their grades, their parents disapprove, and they don’t want to be like their peers who drink, according to HealthDay.

According to the poll of 695 students, more than half said they would be less likely to be friends with or date someone who is an underage drinker, the article notes.

The results were released during Red Ribbon Week, a national campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of drug and alcohol use among young people.

“As adults, we know how dangerous underage drinking is for our kids, but these new survey results show that teens are getting the message, too,” MADD National President Jan Withers said in a news release.


Office Depot Foundation Grant

October 24, 2013


Funding Priorities

The Office Depot Foundation’s funding focus aligns with its Strategic Priorities. The Foundation prefers to fund projects and programs in the following areas:

Giving Children Tools for Success – Supporting activities that give young people tools to succeed in the school and in life through education and inspiration.
Building Capacity to Serve Communities – Supporting programs that help non-profit organizations to serve the needs of their communities efficiently and effectively.
Disaster Preparedness, Relief, Recovery and Rebuilding – Supporting efforts that help people and communities prepare for disasters and then rebuild and recover when disasters occur.

For information about applying for a grant from the Office Depot Foundation, please continue to our Eligibility page.

An online eligibility survey and grant application can be found on the Grant Making Guidelines page. Applications are retrieved on a monthly basis and are reviewed by a committee. Please allow at least 12 weeks after you submit your completed application before you receive a response. Grant amounts will be a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $3,000 (very limited). The majority of grants issued are in the vicinity of $1,000 and are supported by in-kind donations when inventory allows.

The Office Depot Foundation will consider proposals from organizations related to disaster relief and recovery throughout the year. Please visit our Grant Making Guidelines page for more information.

The 2013 Office Depot Foundation grant cycle will close soon. Applications will be accepted through October 31, 2013.

The Foundation is not accepting requests or applications for the National Backpack Program. Please do not submit requests to the Foundation or to Office Depot stores. Thank you.


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