Belle Glade sides against flavored tobacco; year later changes their stance

Belle Glade changes stance about flavored tobacco

BELLE GLADE, Fla. - It comes in both cigarette and smokeless form, flavored tobacco some believe is aimed at hooking teens to become users.

Many local communities took a stand against the products last year by passing a resolution asking stores to refrain from selling flavored tobacco.

American Lung Association Program Director, Dr. Mike Feinstein said the drugs can lead to cancer and flavored tobacco could get teenagers hooked at a young age.

"The only reason that flavored tobacco is even manufactured is to lure young people into smoking tobacco products and to get them hooked on nicotine," Dr. Feinstein said.

That's what Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) in Palm Beach County are working to stop.

They're asking cities to pass a resolution asking stores not to sell the product.

"I believe they shouldn't be selling it in stores at all," Palm Beach Gardens High School sophomore Alana Dixon said.

With the help of the Palm Beach County Health Department, the students were able to get  the City of Belle Glade to be the first of six cities in Palm Beach County to pass the resolution.

Now, they've changed their mind.

"It does bother me, Dixon said. "They're trying to let something that harms kids and adults of every age out here and we are trying have everyone live and not have people die at a young age."

Belle Glade City Attorney Glen Torcivia says their move shows the city is neutral on the issue.

"Local governments are suppose to provide police protection fire protection water and sewer and to be urging residents to take a position just isn't something within the city's realm of influence," Torcivia said.

Dr. Feinstein thinks the move is passing the buck to the federal government to curb the use of the product.

Students Working Against Tobacco and the health department say now they plan to re-make their plea back to the City of Belle Glade.

"City of Belle Glade please keep in mind that tobacco is killing teenagers, adults," Dixon said. "Just try to rethink it and come back on our side."

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