November 2015 Newsletter
COALITION NEWS and UPDATES
Texans Standing Tall Announces New Youth Leadership Council Members for 2015-2016
Last month, 19 Texas youth were selected for Texans Standing Tall's (TST) Youth Leadership Council (YLC). The Council is composed of outstanding youth leaders throughout the state that will work together collaboratively on alcohol and tobacco related prevention issues affecting youth.
This year's Youth Leadership Council members will serve from October 2015 through October 2016 and include: From DeSoto: Nathaniel Fomby; From El Paso: Jesus Cabrales, Anthony J. (AJ) Cortez, Ahmaris Ariel Lechuga, Jose Loya, Andrea Renee Marquez; From Goliad: Kassidy Bego; From Granbury: Laurel Burns; From Hearne: Taryn Quinn; From Ingleside: Joseph Smith, Carlos Vela; From Iowa Park: Jeremy Glebe; From Lufkin: Dylan Allen, Kendrion Ferrell, Katherine Turner, Angel Uwamu; From Odessa: Alexus Galindo; From San Antonio: SaMonica Davis; From Wichita Falls: Kayla Gardner.
In their first official capacity as the YLC, the group attended a new member orientation and leadership training led by Brent Blackburn, Executive Director of Extreme Youth Leadership in Dallas, that focused on team building activities and exercises, presentation skills, and training on environmental prevention and the strategic prevention framework.
We would like to thank everyone who submitted an application for this year's Youth Leadership Council (YLC) and also to all adult sponsors for their support and words of encouragement to our applicants.
Thank You for Your Contributions
Thank you to everyone who made a contribution to Texans Standing Tall (TST) in honor of Nicole Holt's 10 years of service as Executive Director. Your support and partnership enable TST to make strides for substance use prevention.
Nicole Holt, TST's Executive Director, was all smiles when she accepted a check on behalf of TST in honor of her 10 years of service leading the statewide coalition.
On November 6, at a celebration held in Nicole's honor, the TST staff presented Nicole with a check for TST for $2,320. These contributions will be used to further TST's statewide mission to create healthier and safer Texas communities.
"I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who made my 10th anniversary as Executive Director at TST such a memorable event," said Holt. "Thank you for the contributions to TST, the congratulatory warm wishes, and to the TST staff for planning such a great surprise."
To help us continue to make strides for Texas, we invite you to make a contribution if you haven't done so already. Your contribution will aid TST in continuing to advocate for prevention efforts related to youth substance use in Texas.
Bill Banning Sale of E-Cigarettes to Texas Youth Takes Effect
On October 1, Texas joined 40 other states by restricting youth under the age of 18 from purchasing, possessing, consuming or accepting as a gift e-cigarettes or any other vapor product. Senate Bill 97, passed by the 84th Legislature, places e-cigarettes under the same restrictions that cover all tobacco products, including limiting outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of a church or school.
This is good news because e-cigarettes contain varying levels of nicotine, which is addictive, and may contain dangerous carcinogens. According to the 2014 Texas School Survey, Texas youth use e-cigarettes more than any tobacco product. Almost 25% of all middle and high school students report lifetime e-cigarette use compared to 19.9% who have used regular cigarettes. Almost twice as many middle and high school students have used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days (14%) than regular cigarettes (7.4%).
One area of concern that remains despite the new law is the relative ease with which underage youth can purchase e-cigarettes over the Internet. Senate Bill 97 originally included two stringent measures for identification in order to purchase e-cigarettes online. The two measures included requiring a photocopy or other image of a government issued ID for purchase and an adult signature upon delivery of the product. Both items were left out of the final version of the bill.
A 2014 study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina and presented by the American Public Health Association indicated that minors could easily access e-cigarettes via the Internet. In that study, minors successfully purchased and took delivery from 76.5% of the purchase attempts, and 95% of the orders that were delivered were simply left at the door.
E-cigarettes currently are not regulated at the federal level. However, on October 19, the Food and Drug Administration forwarded to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) its final recommendation for the regulation of the products. The FDA proposal calls for defining e-cigarettes as tobacco products and regulating them as tobacco products, including banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and calling for a nicotine warning on the packaging. The White House OMB has 90 days to review the proposal and make a final ruling.
Advocating for change and making it happen.
Worldwide Conference Addresses Reducing Alcohol Harm by Pushing Back on Alcohol Industry
Excessive alcohol use is not confined to the state of Texas or the U.S. In fact, this epidemic causes 3.3 million deaths and is ranked as the fifth leading cause of global death and disability worldwide.
At this year's Global Alcohol Policy Alliance Conference held Oct. 7-9 in Edinburg, Scotland the theme, "Momentum for Change: Research and Advocacy Reducing Alcohol Harm," called for a commitment from prevention professionals, researchers, policymakers, and local groups to push back on the alcohol industry.
Professor Gerard Hastings, Director, of the Institute for Social Marketing at the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom made a presentation titled Alcohol Marketing: The Need for Radical Action.
According to Nikki Carritt, MPH, Board Member of the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance and Executive Director of Project Extra Mile, the presentation was a fascinating account of how the alcohol industry has too much power and how the power should shift. The presentation also highlighted the steps necessary to move forward so that the field of prevention will overcome the industry.
Conference attendees agreed that the implementation of a long-term global campaign against the alcohol industry to address alcohol marketing to youth is imperative. "We must educate the public to know that the alcohol industry is not an industry that should have the privilege of setting and controlling alcohol marketing policy that impacts our children and communities," said Carritt.
There's an opportunity to build upon these conversations and learn
from national experts how to prevent and reduce alcohol-related problems using public policy strategies during the Alcohol Policy 17 Conference, April 6-8, 2016 in Arlington, VA. To take advantage of the early bird discount rate register before February 12, 2016.
The 2016 conference is 17th in a series of conferences that started in 1981. The conference is coordinated by the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance, a national coalition of state coalitions working on alcohol policy, in partnership with Project Extra Mile, a statewide nonprofit based in Nebraska that works to prevent underage drinking.
Texas Department of Transportation Rolls Out New Campaign to Halt Roadway Fatalities in Texas
November 7, 2000 was the beginning of an unwanted streak that started on Texas roadways. As of November 7, 2015, 5,478 consecutive days have passed with at least one fatality per day on a Texas roadway, and 51,832 people have been killed since then. And the streak continues, with these numbers increasing daily.
Now, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is calling on each of us to help to "End the Streak."
Take a photo and share it on social media using the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX.
The #EndTheStreakTX campaign is designed to educate the public and make them aware of the consequences related to driving while under the influence, talking on a cell phone, not using a seat belt, and disregarding the posted speed limit.
The statistics are alarming:
- Excessive alcohol use kills 6,415 Texans each year, including 1,296 in fatal traffic crashes.
- In 2014 a total of 237,941 persons were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
- In 2014 one person was killed every 2 hours and 29 minutes on a Texas roadway.
- Drinking and driving is fatal. In 2014 more alcohol related crashes were reported in the hour between 2 a.m. - 2:59 a.m. than any other hour of the day.
Let's work together to #EndTheStreakTX. To help spread the word TxDOT has prepared a variety of promotional materials that can
be used to create public awareness through social media platforms and other media outlets. For more information contact MediaRelations@txdot.gov or call 512-463-8700.
Thank you for Standing Tall with us!