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Truth spray paintingAdvocacy doesn't break for the summer
 
Mark Pino came to our county meeting in June to listen in on what we had to say and to report the progress that our county has and is making for this year. We certainly do have advocacy on our to-do list this year; making sure that our members have as much fun and experience this year in SWAT as possible.
 
Teens chase funds, law to fight smoking, an article that was published in the Orlando Sentinel on July 4th highlights the commitment of Osceola County SWAT. What a way to celebrate the 4th of July!
 
I would like to point out several things that Mark Pino had said in his article: 
"Osceola County SWAT Members remain committed."
 
He is absolutely right. We here in Osceola County are not squabbling about the pathetic $1 million the state program has received, instead we are continuing to fight big tobacco and educating the public about tobacco's lies on a local level with several county initiatives planned this year.
 
"Members will make a pitch to county commissioners later this year. SWAT wants the county to enact an ordinance to get tobacco products out of the view of minors.

A similar effort was turned away in 2001 when county officials said enforcement of such a law was better left to the state. But SWAT members have collected more than 1,000 signatures and point to the fact 59 counties have such ordinances in place."
 
On Monday, August 2nd, 3 students representing Osceola SWAT which formed the Ordinance Team made a presentation to the Board of County Commissioners. The outcome of our presentation was 'off da hook!' For the second time since 2001 that SWAT has presented a tobacco placement ordinance to the County Commissioners, the outlook this time around looks the best its ever seen. I would like to thank Laura Corbin, the Region 4 Tobacco Prevention Coordinator for coming to watch us give our presentation to the Board.

Click Tobacco Product Placement Ordinance to see more and to see updates on the Osceola Tobacco Ordinance.
 
"It's war. Supporting SWAT cuts down on the casualties. Sadly, after years on the offensive, SWAT is fighting for its life. I'm rooting for survival and revival."
 
All I have to say on that is that I hope that the state wises up and realizes that what they are doing to our model program is only benefiting big tobacco; and that they should fund a program that promotes education and a healthier lifestyle for Florida's children.
 
Thank you Mark Pino for a well written article about this organization and thank you for your support of Students Working Against Tobacco.
 
Forever an advocate against big tobacco,
Brandon Nelson
2003-2005 Osceola County SWAT Representative
Check out our website at: www.geocities.com/osceolaswat
United we stand: Against Big Tobacco!
C/O '05

 

Operation:SWAT is an independent, statewide communication tool for SWAT members and others interested in learning about Big Tobacco news, SWAT initiatives, and general SWAT-related discussion.