May 2016 Newsletter


May 2016 Newsletter

In This Issue

YLC Member of the Month
Vela named Advocate of the Year
TST Staff attends AP17
Budweiser's latest stunt
New e-cigarette regulations


YLC member Ahmaris Lechuga was interviewed by Telemundo after helping with a Controlled Party Dispersal Training.

Please join Texans Standing Tall in congratulating the spectacular Ahmaris Lechuga as May's Youth Leadership Council member of the month!

Lechuga earned high praises from Georgia Marks, our Youth Engagement Specialist, after she participated in a Controlled Party Dispersal training with Texans Standing Tall's Statewide Coalition Specialist Steve Ross and Strategy Specialist Brian Lemons.

Following the training, she was interviewed by the news station Telemundo, where she represented the YLC and discussed the group's work to prevent and reduce underage alcohol use among teens.

"The interview with Telemundo was a very cool experience that not a lot of people get to do," Lechuga said.

At the Controlled Party Dispersal training, Lechuga was able to compare her information on teenage drinking and driving that she gathered from research with the YLC to the local law enforcement's.

Lechuga got involved in the Youth Leadership Council after her coalition sponsor mentioned it to her.

"I've been involved in a couple of other clubs that help with teens and alcohol and I thought this might be fun," Lechuga said.

The teen has learned plenty in her role with the YLC, but considers the statistics she's learned about teenaged drinking to be the most beneficial to her work.

"I tell people a little bit of what I've learned about people dying from alcohol," Lechuga said. "I don't know if I've made an impact on my community, but I think I have made a difference in individual people's lives."

The teen considers the YLC Fall Training as the most important and influential experience so far in her involvement with the YLC.

"It was very informative and I got to meet a lot of different kids that if not for the (retreat) I wouldn't know," Lechuga said. "I now know how to engage people in the right way and how to get people to follow me and explain myself better in a lot of areas."

To learn more about the Youth Leadership Council and how the youth in your lives can get involved, please contact Georgia Marks by email or by phone 512-442-7501.



Carlos Vela, Ingleside, Texas
Carlos Vela, Ingleside, Texas

Youth Leadership Council member Carlos Vela was named a 2016 Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.  Vela was celebrated along with 10 other youth from across the country at Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids annual gala with more than 400 public health, business, civic and political leaders present.

Vela was recognized for serving as president of his school's chapter of SADD, ambassador for Say What! (Students, Adults and Youth Working Hard Against Tobacco), his help with coordinating community events, meetings with business owners and educating his members of Congress in hopes of supporting strong FDA regulation of tobacco products.



TST attends AP 17

Staff from Texans Standing Tall attended and presented at the Alcohol Policy 17 conference from April 6-8 in Washington, D.C. The renowned three-day conference is for prevention professionals, researchers and strategists to provide and learn new information on a variety of alcohol related issues.

TST staff attended the conference both to present and to learn new developments in the field.

Strategy Specialist Brian Lemons presented on the way social media can be used to reduce underage drinking parties using the Snaptrend platform.

"I met colleagues who brought expert level knowledge in our shared field," Lemons said. "I learned new skills to engage coalitions, and effect change locally. I honed my skills as a presenter, providing community members support, and learned how to better navigate Snaptrends while in preparation. I have drastically increased my knowledge towards addressing social access and engaged with coalitions from San Antonio to El Paso and points in between."

Georgia Marks, our Youth Engagement Specialist,  presented TST's Athletes & Alcohol poster.

"The poster highlights how alcohol affects your body's abilities and your athletic performance. I spoke to many people from across the country and was able to share a lot of information with people nationally, international, and from right here in Texas," Marks said. "Everyone who I spoke to was interested in how this information could be used to help students (both college and high school) realize the dangers of drinking alcohol."

Chief Executive Officer Nicole Holt participated in a Plenary Session on "Bridging the Gap: Research to Action on Alcohol Taxes". She also presented with TST's Higher Education Prevention Specialist Nancy Pryor on "Addressing the needs of College Campuses on a Shoestring Budget".




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Budweiser 'taps' into American Patriotism

Self-described "King of Beers" declares itself America. Photo: Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Self-described "King of Beers" declares itself America. Photo: Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

In early May, the Belgium based conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev received approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to change the name of Budweiser beer to "America" this summer through November. Our leaders should know better than to allow this stunt of taking America's sentiment of national pride and applying it to a product that is the leading cause of death, disease and disability for Americans aged 15-49.

The summer redesign will run through the November elections and also includes the Latin phrase found on American money "e pluribus unum" running below the new "America" moniker. The new label will also have a line from Woody Guthrie's famous folk song "This Land is your Land" and several other pro-America phrases.

Budweiser's distasteful attempt to brand its beer using America completely contradicts what America stands for. Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" is a song about the people and what America has to offer its people, not about the corporate greed that stunts like this one by AB InBev represent. For the TTB to approve a beer label that features various sources of national pride for a product owned by a foreign conglomerate is absurd. Our country's leaders should know better than to mix the message of the greatness of our country with a product that has been so detrimental to the lives of so many.

While improvements have been made in the prevention field, this new label serves as proof that there is still work to do. Alcohol use rates have trended so low that companies are grasping at anything they can to appeal to the American family. Alcohol remains the most used substance by youth and it is imperative that we continue our work to protect the interests of our youth when companies spend billions of advertising dollars to normalize drinking as an American pastime.

Use this Public Citizen meme to let AB InBev know that America is not for sale.
Use this Public Citizen meme to let AB InBev know that America is not for sale.

TST's Youth Leadership Council affects change around the messaging and environmental access to alcohol. They will make two presentations about alcohol at our annual Statewide Summit Aug. 3-4, 2016. One of the presentations will be on the presence of alcohol in popular culture and the other will be on their data collection efforts on underage drinking. For more information about the Statewide Summit and to register visit our website.

Our country, unlike a person, can't object to the misrepresentation of its name. It requires its citizens to give it voice. Contact your member of congress to encourage them to provide guidance on the TTB's labeling process so this doesn't happen again.



New e-cigarette regulations go into effect in August

New rules surrounding the regulations of electronic cigarettes, or aerosol products, are set to take effect on Aug. 8, 2016.

According to the FDA website, the new rules will apply to all "electronic nicotine delivery systems (such as e-cigarettes and vape pens), all cigars, hookah (waterpipe) tobacco, pipe tobacco and nicotine gels, among others."

The electronic cigarette industry has been largely unregulated since 2007, when products first began appearing on the market. The full health and safety impact of the product is not known because of a lack of research and regulation. However, starting August 2016, e-cigarette products will fall under the same regulation guidelines as traditional tobacco products. The FDA will now have the authority to:

  • Review new tobacco products not yet on the market;
  • Help prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers;
  • Evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made; and
  • Communicate the potential risks of tobacco products.

Several factors, including the lack of regulation, has resulted in more teens in the U.S. using e-cigarettes more than traditional cigarettes. The Texas Legislature passed a bill during their 2015 session that made selling e-cigarettes to minors illegal.

Texans Standing Tall has long supported that e-cigarettes fall under the same guidelines as traditional cigarettes. The FDA and the Texas Legislature have taken steps in the right direction, but there is still work to be done. With your efforts, we can keep the ball rolling in educating our youth that aerosol products carry the same risks as cigarettes and other tobacco products and should be treated as such.

If you're interested in working more closely with TST on prevention efforts, please visit our website to learn more about our work. Email to let us know how you would like to get involved!



May 31 is World No Tobacco Day

WNTD is a day to encourage a 24-hour period where people around the world abstain from using tobacco products. The day is recognized to draw attention to the negative health affects and the widespread use of tobacco, including the affects of secondhand smoke. The day was started in 1987 and is usually symbolized as a flower in an ashtray. It is one of eight global public health campaigns backed by the World Health Organization (WHO).



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.




Tell us your story!

Do you have a story about how tobacco and alcohol have affected your life or someone you know? Maybe you were the catalyst behind them making a change. Email to make your story known!


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