Tobacco Free Lancaster County

June 2020 Newsletter

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Youth Task Force Wins Award

The TFLC Coalition is excited to announce the Youth Task Force won the 2020 Lancaster County Board of Health Community Public Health Award. This award recognized individuals or organizations that have done outstanding work in the community to promote public health. The Youth Task Force was recognized for its 2019 efforts to reach key audiences.


The task force aligned their education and outreach activities with two annually occurring national events, Health Education Week and Red Ribbon Week, last October. Focusing efforts around these events enabled the task force to reach youth, educators, auxiliary school staff, families, youth leaders, and the general public with youth vaping prevention messages, including information regarding vaping health risks and harms. The task force sought to surround youth with educational messages at home, school, and outside of school to continually engage them in thoughts about the consequences of vaping to their health, now and in the future, if they decided to start or to continue vaping.


Working with three Lancaster County school districts, School Community Intervention and Prevention or SCIP, four YMCA Community Learning Centers, El Centro de las Americas, and others, the Youth Task Force coordinated six presentations and four media interactions during these two weeks. Activities conducted included school lessons for students, peer-to-peer messaging at multiple schools, and three anti-vaping message campaigns on posters and t-shirts at partner locations. The culmination of Health Education Week was a community conversation about youth vaping and marijuana use. The event attracted 60 attendees, and had over 400 online viewers and robust media coverage.


Thank you to everyone who worked diligently throughout 2019 to make the Youth Task Force and its initiatives so successful. We cannot wait to continue this work for the rest of 2020 and beyond!

Successful Hispanic/Latino Media Campaign Launched

El Centro de las Americas partnered with Tobacco Free Lancaster County to plan and implement the first Hispanic/Latino media campaign. The campaign provided Spanish speaking parents, grandparents, and youth caregivers with information about the dangers of secondhand tobacco in homes and vehicles. The campaign included radio PSAs on two Spanish-language stations, a video PSA on Telemundo Nebraska, boosted posts on social media, and a Spanish-language podcast on KZUM done by El Centro staff.


TFLC would like to thank El Centro de las Americas for their support and assistance in planning and sharing this media campaign!

Spring Training Series; Meeting Participants Where They Are

Spring 2020 has been a difficult time for many of us due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. However, these challenging times have allowed the Tobacco Free Lancaster County Coalition to find creative ways to continue engaging coalition members, partners, and the community. One of these new initiatives was the spring training series. The series included three parts spanning April - June. The TFLC partnered with the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights Foundation (ANRF) for the first portion of the training during April. This four-part series focused on learning how to engage communities and partners to lay the groundwork for successful tobacco-free initiatives. Topics included social justice and the smoke-free movement, determining community readiness, the science of second and third-hand smoke and aerosol, and how to effectively advance smoke-free and tobacco-free policy.


In May, TFLC held another four-part training series - this time partnering with CoalitonsWork to learn more about engaging coalitions and preparing them for change. The format of the training followed the "Ignite" method and walked participants through the stages of coalition planning, building, action, and finally, sustaining the coalition for the long term.


Finally, in June, TFLC held three final training's. The first two were again with ANRF and covered lobbying versus advocacy and participatory decision making. The final training covered managing coalitions in a virtual world done by Frances Butterfoss of CoalitionsWork.


Each webinar and its resource material can be found at: https://tobaccofreelancastercounty.org/trainingresources/

Coalition Focuses on Growing Capacity and Future Direction

Even though we are not together in-person, the TFLC coalition continues to work hard addressing tobacco and e-cigarette use in Lancaster County. To better serve our members and our community, the coalition completed a capacity survey in March with Schmeckle Research. The results of that survey are in! We had 20 coalition members complete the survey – thank you to everyone who participated! The results were overwhelmingly positive. All of our members perceive benefits of being a part of TFLC or the Youth Task Force. Primary benefits cited include networking, access to resources, and current information on tobacco. We also identified areas for improvement and we look forward to working on these areas with the coalition at upcoming meetings.

The results of this survey will assist TFLC moving forward. At the end of May, TFLC completed a workshop to identify our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This will be followed up in June with a strategic planning exercise. Our hope is that these activities will enable us to move the TFLC coalition and YTF to the next level.

Thank you to everyone who supports the TFLC and participates in coalition activities. None of our work would be possible without you. Remember to like us on Facebook at @tflcne for even more tobacco prevention information and resources.

Ponca Tribe Partnership

In April, TFLC partnered with the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska to bring tobacco prevention education to tribal elders. As part of this project, TFLC provided playing cards, draw-string bags, stickers, and educational information to help fill Elder Care Baskets. These baskets enabled tribal elders to access needed supplies during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.


TFLC would like to thank the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska for allowing us to help support this awesome community project!

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Center for People in Need Partnership

Meeting the needs of our community continues with a blossoming relationship with the Center For People In Need. TFLC was able to sponsor each Tuesday for five weeks of drive-thru food distributions serving between 434 and 462 families each week. Signage indicating the sponsorship of Tobacco Free Tuesday and a new tip of the week was displayed in English, Spanish, and Arabic greeting the clients each week. Loaded into each vehicle were bags of food accompanied by weekly educational materials regarding tobacco, stress, and cessation resources also translated in English, Spanish, and Arabic. The Center For People in Need is excited to continue this partnership in the future, planning to join our Business/School Task Force.
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Pride Month PSA

OutNebraska and TFLC Partner to Celebrate Pride Month

Every June communities come together to celebrate Pride Month. Pride Month falls in June in order to commemorate the Stonewall Riots that occurred in late June 1969 in New York. Although COVID-19 has changed local plans for holding annual Star City Pride events, OutNebraska and the TFLC still wanted to celebrate the numerous contributions of LGBTQ+ community members during Pride Month.

This spring, OutNebraska and the TFLC worked together on the first LGBTQ+ tobacco prevention and education media campaign During Pride Month, OutNebraska and the TFLC shared messages online through digital and social media, via radio, and through newsletters. Messages highlighted the tobacco industry's historical and present targeting of LGBTQ+ people at Pride events through advertisements and sponsorships and the relationship between social stigma, mental health, and tobacco use. Through these efforts, we hope to spread the message that everyone should take pride in their health and say no to tobacco and e-cigarette products.


TFLC would like to thank OutNebraska for their support and assistance in planning and sharing this media campaign. Happy Pride everyone!

2020 Nebraska State Legislative Update

Speaker Scheer has announced that the Legislature will reconvene on July 20, 2020.


When they return, they will take up bills that were already in the process of advancing through the legislative stages. One of those bills could be LB 840, Sen. Quick’s priority bill prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in public places. It remains on the second of three stages of legislative debate.


Other bills that might be debated when the Legislature returns:

• LB 861, a bill that would preempt municipalities on regulation of “consumer merchandise,” including tobacco products.

• LB 1064, which raises the minimum sale legal age for tobacco products to 21 and maintains purchase and use penalty provisions by applying those penalties to those under the age of 21. This bill was prioritized by the General Affairs committee, and is currently on the first stage of debate.


In addition, the Legislature would need to finalize the budget before adjourning for the year. This would likely include amendments directly related to COVID-19.


Thank you Nick Faustman of ACS-CAN for providing this legislative update. We would also like to wish Nick well as he seeks his next adventure after leaving ACS-CAN in June. We will miss his expertise and contributions to the TFLC Coalition but we know that he will continue to make an impact in all that he does.

TFLC Quarterly Meeting

Tuesday, Sep. 1st, 9-10:30am

3131 O Street

Lincoln, NE

Join us for our upcoming TFLC quarterly meeting to hear the latest in tobacco and e-cigarette prevention, network, and more!