March 2016 Newsletter


March 2016 Newsletter


Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Community College Grants Available

The Truth Initiative is awarding $10,000 grants to support public community colleges in their efforts to implement smoke-free or tobacco-free policies on their campuses. Any community college that does not currently have a smoke-free policy or that has less than a 100% smoke-free policy (for example, smoking is prohibited in buildings but permitted in designated areas on campus) may apply for funds to support the advocacy, adoption, and implementation of a 100% smoke-free policy or 100% tobacco-free policy.

The deadline to apply for a $10,000 grant is April 29.Community colleges may apply for a $7,500 grant for the same activities by July 15. Download the application kit here.


Youth Leadership Council Member of the Month


Congratulations to Joey Smith, age 16, of Ingleside for being named the Youth Leadership Council Member of the Month! This is Joey's first year on the Youth Leadership Council.

Joey brings a positive attitude to his work as a YLC member. He has collected 130 surveys of community members as part of the YLC's statewide survey of adults to learn their attitudes toward underage alcohol use and their knowledge of Zero Tolerance Laws. He has even recruited his friends and family members to assist him in collecting survey data. Joey has learned a lot in his short time on the YLC and said, "By talking to more people about the mission of Texans Standing Tall and the Youth Leadership Council, I've become much more comfortable talking to people about underage drinking and trying to get them involved."

Joey plans to use what he has learned about data collection to do a project in Ingleside next year that educates people about alcohol advertising in places that youth frequently go and the effect that alcohol advertising has on youth.

To learn more about the Youth Leadership Council and how youth you know can get involved, contact Georgia Marks at or at 512-442-7501.



Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 30

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has planned the next Prescription Drug Take-Back Day for April 30.

Check the DEA website for a list of take-back sites in your community. Use the Texans Standing Tall Prescription Drug Take Back Toolkit to assist in planning an event in your community.



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Louisiana Increases Alcohol Taxes to Increase Revenue--Should Texas Follow Suit?

Facing an enormous budget deficit, in early March, the legislature of neighboring state Louisiana voted to raise alcohol taxes to increase revenue. The fiscal note of LA House Bill 27 indicates that increasing these taxes will bring the state $19.2 million in the next fiscal year.

Here in Texas, we hear often about budget deficits for education, healthcare, mental health services, and more. What could raising alcohol excise taxes in Texas do?

Increasing Texas alcohol excise taxes by just 10 cents a drink would:

  • Bring revenue of $708 million dollars every year, which would result in $177 million of new revenue earmarked for public education annually
  • Save 112 lives from impaired driving traffic deaths each year
  • Reduce teen pregnancies by 359 cases each year
  • Reduce underage alcohol use and binge drinking by both youth and adults, resulting in lower rates of homicide, suicide, domestic violence, violence against children, rape, and fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Cost a moderate drinker just $4.53 per year, which is a small price to pay considering excessive alcohol use and its consequences cost each Texan $695.00 per year in healthcare, property damage, criminal justice system administration costs, etc.

To learn more about increasing alcohol excise taxes as a strategy proven to reduce underage alcohol use and risky alcohol use, visit the website of Texans for Education, Health and Safety or email



4a584e99-3384-423f-ace3-f4653dc2a31dREGISTER NOW to attend

Texans Standing Tall's

August 3-4, 2016
in Austin

To achieve our goal of a healthy and safer Texas, we must become community lifeguards--standing up to protect our young people and being prepared to take action when something happens. It takes courage to safeguard our communities, and it requires training, practice, communication skills, and tenacity for the long haul.

Join your fellow leaders and lifeguards in the movement toward a healthier and safer Texas. Learn from national and state experts how to prepare, prevent, and react. Summit topics will include:

  • Impact of drug use on adolescent brain development
  • How to tackle powdered alcohol, tobacco and marijuana trends
  • Effective fundraising and friend-raising strategies
  • Impact of pop culture on youth alcohol and tobacco use
  • Why your voice matters--the importance of civic engagement to advance prevention practices and funding
  • And much more!

Visit our website for speaker bios, agenda, hotel accommodations, and exhibitor information.




b02ae162-2ec1-46f8-84c8-fd0246f216fd"Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use" is the 2016 theme for Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, youth whose parents talk to them about alcohol are significantly less likely to consume alcohol, and it's important to start the conversation around age 9--before they or their peers have experimented. Check out these resources for talking to youth about alcohol from SAMHSA.

How will you or your organization increase awareness of alcoholism and alcohol use among youth in April?Download the NCADD Organizer's Guide for ideas and sample media plans. Share your plans with Texans Standing Tall on our facebook, twitter, and Instagram accounts!

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Opportunity to Have Your Voice Heard

The Department of State Health Services will consider a rule change related to tobacco use at licensed substance abuse treatment facilities at a meeting in Austin on April 8th. The language of the proposed rule will be published on the DSHS website on April 1st. Logistical information about the stakeholder meeting and a link to the webpage where the proposed rule will be published is located here. Please note that providing input on a rule change does not constitute lobbying.




With your support, we can create a healthier and safer Texas!


Thank you for Standing Tall with us!logo_200