June 2016 Newsletter
In This Issue
YLC Member of the Month
'Smoke can't read'
AMA calls for federal and state ban on powdered alcohol
2016 YLC Summer Training
Statewide Summit 2016
YOUTH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEMBER OF THE MONTH
June's Youth Leadership Council (YLC) members of the month are all four YLC members from Angelina County. Katy Turner, Angel Uwamu, Dylan Allen and Ken Ferrell helped collect more than 350 surveys as part of the data collection project that the YLC will present at the Statewide Summit on Aug. 3-4, 2016.
The youth attended Drug Free All Star events and administered the surveys at their booths. They asked people to fill out the surveys while their children got a face painting or tattoo. As the group was collecting surveys, YLC member Katy Turner found it concerning to learn that people didn't know the legal drinking age is 21.
"Those completing the surveys had a lot of questions. This showed me how much education communities really need," Turner said.
Katy Turner attends Hudson High School. She is student council president and yearbook senior editor. She joined the YLC to make a difference in her school, community, and the state.
Angel Uwamu attends Hudson High School and is a Drug-Free All Star. Angel joined the YLC to make a difference in her community and because the YLC allows you to be unique.
Dylan Allen attends Diboll High School. He is involved with soccer, FFA, and the National Honors Society. He believes that being a part of the YLC allows him to make a change and altogether better his community and state.
Ken Ferrell attends HudsonHigh School. He runs cross country and track. He joined the YLC because he wants to be a part of making a difference in Texas by preventing underage drinking.
You can join these amazing youth and hear about the YLC's survey findings on Aug. 3-4, 2016 at the 2016 Statewide Summit.
The Youth Leadership Council is looking for Texas youth ages 16-20 who are passionate about reducing underage drinking and drug use. Choose an adult sponsor, get two references and fill out the YLC application.
Applications are due by September 16, 2016.
Research on link between cancer and alcohol leads to new recommendations
In a study published by The BMJ (originally known as the British Medical Journal), it is estimated that alcohol consumption has caused 3.6 percent of all cancers worldwide (1.7 percent in women and 5.2 percent in men), and 3.2 percent to 3.7 percent of cancer deaths in the USA.
The study provided further evidence that there is a link between alcohol and seven different types of cancers: colon, female breast, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, liver, and esophageal.
The findings were based on two studies done in the U.S. on 100,000 adults.
U.S. women face an 18-percent increase in their risk of developing breast cancer by consuming just two drinks a day.
An editorial by The BMJ says that the study confirms previous research establishing a link between moderate alcohol use and increased risk for 'cancer attributable to alcohol.'
The decrease in smoking and the stability in alcohol consumption in wealthier nations have made the conditions for researching the link between alcohol and cancer possible.
The study shows that even light to moderate drinking can increase the chance of developing certain types of cancers. The BMJ recommends that those with a family history of cancer, particularly women with a family history of breast cancer, should decrease their alcohol intake to below recommended limits or abstain from drinking alcohol entirely given the well-established link between alcohol and cancer.
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'Smoke can't read'
Congratulations to all of the Tobacco Prevention Control and Coalitions (TPCC) making headway in creating a smoke-free Texas!
Hidalgo County is seeing a high level of success in getting smoke-free ordinances passed.
Mission, Texas adopted a smoke-free ordinance on June 27, making it the third city this year to go smoke-free in Hidalgo County. This ordinance replaces a previous one that required establishments to have a designated smoking section. The new ordinance calls for smokers to be at least 20 feet away from entrances, windows, and ventilation systems of enclosed areas and also 20 feet away from stadiums, outdoor sports arenas, and amphitheaters.
On May 16, the city commission in Pharr, Texas passed a smoke-free ordinance in a unanimous vote. The ordinance comes after months of education and advocacy from groups like the UNIDAD TPCC, Smoke-Free RGV, and the American Heart Association.
The TPCC in Wichita Falls may not have been the driving force behind getting a smoke-free ordinance passed, but they have played a crucial role in educating and spreading the word about the ordinance. The ordinance prohibits smoking in restaurants, bars and gentlemen's clubs.
The ordinance went into full effect on June 17. While the process to pass the ordinance was already in motion when Kim Donahue took over as program manager of the TPCC in Wichita County, the coalition developed a plan to educate the community about the ordinance and the dangers of smoking.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that exposure to secondhand smoke from burning tobacco products causes disease and premature death among nonsmokers. Wichita Falls' ordinance may save the lives of nonsmokers in the community, but that's not to say that the smoke-free ordinance was without controversy.
Donahue recalled a time she went to see a bartender, who pulled out a list of very detailed questions to ask. She said that most of the people she spoke with were just happy that someone was finally listening to what they had to say about the ordinance. She said, "[t]here was one guy who was super against the ordinance and talked for 30 minutes. By the end of it, we were laughing and having a good time. I realized he was just happy that somebody listened to him."
There's no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Having a smoking section does not stop the smoke from traveling to the other side of the building. People who chose to sit in the nonsmoking section will still inhale the deadly and toxic cocktail housed in every cigarette. It's time for businesses to recognize that healthy customers equal a healthy business.
American Medical Association calls for federal and state bans on powdered alcohol
A teenager walks into school, sits down in first period class, and pours a portable one-ounce powdered alcohol mix into a bottle of water. She sips on the drink, replenishing it as the day carries on. By eighth period, she's visibly drunk.
This is one of the scenarios highlighting the dangers of powdered alcohol and why the American Medical Association has joined a long list of public health advocates calling for federal and state bans on powdered alcohol at its 2016 annual meeting.
One packet of powdered alcohol is the equivalent to one cocktail. Texans Standing Tall's website explains powdered alcohol is an alcohol that has been absorbed by a sugar derivative and has a powder-like appearance that some have compared to Tang or Kool-Aid.
Lipsmark, LLC is the company behind Palcohol, the product that is closest to being sold commercially in the U.S. The product's label was approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in March 2015.
Lipsmark plans to sell powdered alcohol in five flavors that could appeal to youth:
- V (Vodka)
- R (Rum)
- Powderita (Margarita)
- Lemon Drop
Another risk associated with the substance is overconsumption. Consumers could combine one or more of the different Palcohol flavors with any other alcoholic beverage, effectively increasing the alcohol content. There is no scientific evidence on how potent an alcoholic beverage could be if mixed with powdered alcohol.
Thirty-two states have permanently or temporarily banned the sale of powdered alcohol. Texas currently allows the product. The state had the opportunity to ban the product during the 84th Legislative Session in 2015, but because of its inaction, the product will be for sale in Texas once it is commercially available. Texas lawmakers can still act to ban the sale of powdered alcohol in the upcoming legislative session.
The lack of research on the unintended consequences is one reason we must remain proactive rather reactive. Texans Standing Tall will continue to monitor and provide updates on powdered alcohol issues and legislation. Visit our website and attend our summit for more information about powdered alcohol.
Youth Leadership Council
2016 Summer Training
The Youth Leadership Council held its annual summer training at Slumber Falls in New Braunfels from June 24-26. The YLC got a weekend-long intensive training session with facilitator Nigel Wrangham to build their leadership skills along with their presentation skills for Texans Standing Tall's upcoming Statewide Summit.
REGISTER NOW to attend
Texans Standing Tall's
August 3-4, 2016
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.
Thank you for Standing Tall with us!