2021 Year in Review
10th Annual Point-of-Sale Tobacco Marketing Photo Contest Winner
In November of 2021, Tobacco Free Lancaster County participated in the 10th Annual Point-of-Sale Tobacco Marketing Photo Contest. This contest is designed to document the tobacco industry’s on-going marketing tactics and promotional strategies. The competition had 10 categories specific to the tobacco industry’s activities at the point of sale, including “Stores Near Schools,” which we won! While it feels great to win, this was a bittersweet victory. Exposing the tobacco industry’s evolving and relentless tactics to recruit youth with targeted marketing and high visibility, seems to be a never-ending battle. We are grateful for all the work our coalition members and community members continue to do to educate, promote, and advocate for tobacco-free lifestyles. This win proves that we have more work to do in our community and the retailer assessments we have completed this year will provide more data for potential policy changes.
You can see all the winners in the link below and learn more about tobacco advertising tactics throughout the country.
TFLC Welcomes New Vice President
Welcome TFLC’s new Vice President, Lauren Falconer! Lauren is the Development & Operations Manager with OutNebraska. OutNebraska is a nonprofit dedicated to the LGBTQIA2S+ community across Nebraska. Lauren got involved with TFLC this year because smoking is an issue that hits close to home. Tobacco use also disproportionately impacts the LGBTQIA2S+ community and working for the only statewide LGBTQIA2S+ organization in Nebraska, she feels a responsibility to help share information and resources about smoking.
Lauren is originally from Kearney where her parents, John and Tracy, still live and both work for UNK. Lauren’s sister Megan attends UNMC and lives in Omaha. Lauren lives in Lincoln with her partner, Ethan, and their two cats, Tonks and Albus. Lauren enjoys taking Albus to the park for a walk, on a leash!
Lauren started college as a music performance major but decided to look for another path. She found grant writing interesting and interned with the Asian Community & Cultural Center to grow that skill. Her interest in fundraising and grant writing led her to her current position with OutNebraska. Lauren also recently joined the board at KZUM radio station.
Lauren says the most important advice she has received is to accomplish what you want to in life, you need to take care of yourself first, including your mental health.
We are so excited to announce Lauren as TFLC Vice President! Thank you, Lauren, for stepping up to this responsibility and for the work you do in the community!
TFLC Recognizes President for Another Year of Outstanding Service
TFLC also wants to recognize Tiffany Quicke our coalition President. Tiffany is a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist with CHI Health St. Elizabeth Hospital. Tiffany got involved in TFLC after receiving her Tobacco Treatment Certification and teaching smoking cessation classes. Tiffany was invited by Christina to attend a meeting and the rest is history!
Tiffany has worked at CHI Health St. Elizabeth Hospital in Pulmonary Rehabilitation for 18 years. As a student in Respiratory Care, she dreamed of her current position. Tiffany sees her current role as her most important professional achievement.
In her off time, Tiffany enjoys reading or getting a massage. Around Christmas time, she enjoys reading a special Christmas theme book. Tiffany also attends and promotes the work of Christ Lincoln Church.
Tiffany’s favorite piece of advice is if you don’t ask, the answer will always be “no”, so never be afraid to ask. We are so grateful for Tiffany saying “yes” to being TFLC President. The work she provides in the community and to our coalition, especially through the difficulties that COVID has brought the last couple years, is astounding. Thank you for your service to our coalition and our community!
Mirror Cling Campaign Launch
The campaign officially launched for the LPS 2021-2022 school year with some adjustments made after feedback received from students as well as administration. A total of 13 new designs were produced in color for the 21-22 school year and distributed to LPS. Designs corresponded with events and holidays happening in that quarter and feature a QR code that students and visitors can scan that leads them to the tobaccofreelancastercounty.org vaping information landing page as well as Truth Initiative's This is Quitting text line that is available for those ages 13-24 to help with cessation.
The campaign works to remove barriers that youth face when looking for cessation resources such as the fear of consequences when asking for help, especially when under the age of 21, by providing an anonymous and discrete way to access help. The campaign appears to be an effective way to provide students this education.
Since the implementation of the mirror clings in the bathrooms there has been an increase in traffic to the TFLC Juul and e-cigarette landing page with 181 visits through QR code scans, which is almost half of the total page views. This is despite over half of the bathrooms being temporarily closed in most LPS schools due to a TikTok challenge.
TFLC looks forward to expanding this mirror cling campaign in the future.
Educating Youth Advocates
TFLC had the opportunity to educate roughly 50 youth advocates during presentations at the Nebraska School Counselor's Association Fall Conference and SCIP Coordinators September meeting. Staff shared valuable information on the importance of talking about vaping, how to start and frame the conversation surrounding vaping, the connection between mental health and vaping, emerging nicotine products, and resources specifically designed for youth and young adults struggling with nicotine addiction.
These presentations also provided opportunity for TFLC to gather qualitative data through conversations with the youth advocates to better inform future presentations and develop additional resources to better educate youth advocates. Additionally, continuing networking opportunities have emerged for TFLC to support those who work directly with students in various settings as a result of these presentations.
Second Annual Community-Wide Great American Smokeout Campaign reaches over 22,000 employees
Feedback from our business partners after the 2020 campaign suggested developing a way to make the campaign more meaningful for all of their employees, citing that many businesses don't feel like tobacco use is a problem for their staff and/or visitors. With 14.6% of adults in Nebraska identifying current tobacco use, it was an easy decision to find a way to include the other 85% of the population in celebrating this important day.
Thus, the theme for 2021 became Who Do You Know? This shortened version of Who do you know that could use support quitting tobacco? created opportunity to have comfortable conversations with anyone in the community about tobacco use and how to support someone in their quit attempts. Each week wellness professionals and business leaders were given resources including encouraging emails and resources for supporting family and friends, as well as information about the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline, health benefits of quitting, and motivational flyers.
TFLC, together with our business partners, look forward to continuing the community-wide campaign each year during the Great American Smokeout.
TFLC Awards CenterPointe Tobacco-Free Business Champion Award
Tobacco Free Lancaster County proudly announced CenterPointe as the TFLC 2021 #GASOLNK #GASOLancasterCoNe Tobacco-Free Business Champion. CenterPointe deeply values the health and well-being of not only their employees, but also the individuals they serve. All of CenterPointe’s sites are tobacco-free, creating a safe environment that is trigger-free for any visitor. Employees are supported in their tobacco quit attempts with an internal “blog” where employees can openly discuss their experiences with quitting and ask questions about the quitting process, encouraged to utilize their health insurance plan that provides low-cost medication support, and attend nicotine cessation counseling.
Recognizing that addressing nicotine addiction in their programming supports the recovery of the individuals they serve, they now offer group nicotine cessation counseling that is also available at no cost for the public.
Businesses that have strong tobacco-free policies, which include cessation support for their employees, are one of the best ways to reduce tobacco use in our community. TFLC thanks CenterPointe for doing their part to make Lincoln and Lancaster County a healthier, tobacco-free community!
Funding provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services/Tobacco Free Nebraska Program as a result of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.