skip to content

Santa Rosa SWAT Celebrates Not A Lab Rat Day at Sweet Season Farms

By Santa Rosa CHD

October 15, 2019

MILTON, Fla. — The second annual Not A Lab Rat Day is Wednesday, Oct. 16. This
year, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) wants other teens to know that when
it to comes to e-cigarettes, aka “vaping” products, history is repeating itself.


E-cigarette companies use the same tricks, including flavors and marketing campaigns,
tobacco companies used for decades to target and recruit young smokers.1 Not a
surprise considering Big Tobacco companies own or have significantly invested in e-cigarette companies.2,3

These are the same tobacco companies that for decades lied about the addictiveness and health effects of cigarettes.4

SWAT is Florida’s youth-led movement to combat Big Tobacco. Not A Lab Rat Day is a
statewide initiative that empowers youth to stand up and declare that they refuse to be
the tobacco and e-cigarette industry’s “lab rats” as we wait and see the long-term health
effects of vaping.

SWAT chapters across the state are holding events at their schools and in their
communities to dispel myths and educate their peers about the e-cigarette industry’s
connection to Big Tobacco. In Santa Rosa County, the SWAT chapter will visit Sweet
Season Farms, a local corn maze and tobacco free environment, on Saturday, October
19th.

Here are the facts:
Marlboro cigarette maker Altria purchased a 35% stake in JUUL for $12.8 billion
in December 2018.5
Imperial Brands, the makers of Winston and Kool, owns the e-cigarette brand
Blu.6
RJ. Reynolds (RJR), the makers of Newport and Camel, owns the e-cigarette
brand Vuse.7

We do not know what Big Tobacco’s involvement means for the future of e-cigarettes.
But we do know Big Tobacco cannot be trusted,” said Kristie Beckstrom, SWAT
Coordinator. “That’s why we’re sharing the facts and standing up to the tobacco
industry."

Youth vaping has increased dramatically across the country, including right here in
Santa Rosa County. E-cigarette companies claim their products are intended for adults,
but alarming rates among teens tell a different story. About 25% of Florida high school
students are vaping8 compared to 4% of Florida adults.9

For more information, visit swatflorida.com/not-a-lab-rat/.


About Not A Lab Rat Day

Not A Lab Rat Day will be observed annually on the third Wednesday of October to
bring awareness to e-cigarette use among youth, encourage youth to stand up against
Big Tobacco and the e-cigarette industry, and to push for change within their
communities.

About Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT)

SWAT is Florida’s statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip
Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco and the e-cigarette
industry. SWAT is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco
free future.

To learn more about Students Working Against Tobacco, visit www.swatflorida.comor
follow us on Instagram at @swatflorida.


###


1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon
General—Executive Summary. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2016.
2 Kirkham, Chris. "Altria to Buy $12.8 Billion Minority Stake in E-cigarette Company Juul." Reuters. 20 Dec. 2018.
www.reuters.com/article/us-juul-altriagroup-m-a/altria-to-buy-12-8-billion-minority-stake-in-e-cigarette-company-juulidUSKCN1OJ1JS (Accessed 27 Aug 2019)
3 Kirkham, Chris. “Special Report: Juul copycats flood e-cig market, despite FDA rule.” Reuters. 24 Sept. 2018.
www.reuters.com/article/us-vaping-regulation-juul-specialreport/special-report-juul-copycats-flood-e-cig-market-despite-fda-ruleidUSKCN1M418W (Accessed 27 Aug 2019)
4 USA V. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al., No. 99-CV-02496GK (U.S. Dist. Ct., D.C.), Final Opinion, August 17, 2006.
5 Kirkham, Chris. "Altria to Buy $12.8 Billion Minority Stake in E-cigarette Company Juul." Reuters. 20 Dec. 2018.
www.reuters.com/article/us-juul-altriagroup-m-a/altria-to-buy-12-8-billion-minority-stake-in-e-cigarette-company-juulidUSKCN1OJ1JS (Accessed 27 Aug 2019)
6 Kirkham, Chris. “Special Report: Juul copycats flood e-cig market, despite FDA rule.” Reuters. 24 Sept. 2018.
www.reuters.com/article/us-vaping-regulation-juul-specialreport/special-report-juul-copycats-flood-e-cig-market-despite-fda-ruleidUSKCN1M418W (Access 27 Aug 2019)
7 Kirkham, Chris. “Special Report: Juul copycats flood e-cig market, despite FDA rule.” Reuters. 24 Sept. 2018.
www.reuters.com/article/us-vaping-regulation-juul-specialreport/special-report-juul-copycats-flood-e-cig-market-despite-fda-ruleidUSKCN1M418W (Access 27 Aug 2019)
8 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS), Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, 2019.
9 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of
Population Health. BRFSS Prevalence & Trends Data [online]. 2017. [accessed Aug 28, 2019]. URL:
https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/brfssprevalence/.