News and Events

Tobacco Free Partnership educates Okeechobee Kiwanis Club on Electronic Cigarettes.
January 23 , 2013

On January 23, 2014, Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation co-founder, Dr. Barry Hummel, educated the Okeechobee Kiwanis Club on issues surrounding electronic cigarettes.

Click here to Play or Pause or this WOKC radio interview with Dr. Hummel:

The presentation discussed the introduction of electronic cigarettes to the United States in late 2007, and the early lawsuit brought by the e-cigarette industry to have the products classified as tobacco products instead of drug delivery devices for purposes of FDA regulation (Sottera v FDA).

The FDA did not appeal the decision, and announced their intent to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products in April, 2011. However, since that time, the FDA has not issued any regulatory guidelines.

Kiwanis Presentation
From L to R: Kiwanis Club President J.D. Mixon, Dr. Barry Hummel,
Okeechobee County Tobacco Prevention Specialist Courtney Moyett

Dr. Hummel then shared information on the aggressive marketing tactics of the industry in the absence of such regulation. "Hundreds of devices, and thousands of products are now available" said Dr. Hummel. "Most of these products have not been tested for safety, and the few that have been tested have shown harmful chemicals in the vapor. While there are lower concentrations of these chemicals when compared to tobacco smoke, there have been no long-term studies on the impact of these chemicals on the user or bystanders."

Meanwhile, there has been a rapid increase in the use of these devices among underage minors, especially since there are no age restrictions at the federal level or in Florida. "Regular use among middle school use has doubled among Florida middle school students since 2011," reported Dr. Hummel, "and regular use among high school students rose by 75% over the same period of time."

2013 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey Results

In the absence of regulation at the state and federal level, several counties and municipalities in Florida have started regulating the devices and the liquid nicotine. Local ordinances have been passed to ban the sales to minors under the age of 18, to place the products behind the counter requiring retailer-assisted sales, and to restrict the use of devices in locations where the use of regular tobacco is currently restricted.

The program was very well received, and several of the Kiwanis Club members asked very pointed questions about other tobacco issues that affect youth.

"I was very impressed with thelevel of concern among the club members," Dr. Hummel remarked after the presentation. "It seems like the citizens of Okeechobee are poised to take strong steps in order to protect local youth."

For more information, or to schedule a program, you can contact Courtney Moyett, the Tobacco Prevention Specialist in Okeechobee County, by calling 863-801-9140, or by email at