News and Events

City of Avon Park Passes a Resolution Encouraging Retailers to Voluntarily Restrict the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products
February 25, 2013

By a 3-1 vote, the Avon Park City Council passed a Resolution encouraging local retailers to restrict the sale of fruit and candy-flavored tobacco products not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration. The lone dissenting vote was cast by Councilman Garrett Anderson.

The vote immediately followed a presentation by Dr. Barry Hummel, Co-Founder of the Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation, the fiscal agent of The Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County.

"Internal industry documents released during the Master Settlement Agreement revealed that fruit-flavored and candy-flavored tobacco products were created to intentionally target youth," Dr. Hummel reported. "Studies have found that youth use these flavored products at rates three times higher than adults.  They have become the 'starter-products' of choice among children and teenagers.  This is especially important since 85% of new tobacco users start between the ages of 12 and 17, prior to the legal age."

By passing this Resolution, Avon Park will become part of a state-wide movement to encourage the Florida Legislature to pass new laws regulating the sale of these products and keeping them out of the hands of underage minors.  Avon Park became the 132nd city in Florida to pass such a Resolution, joining Sebring and Lake Placed.

44 of Florida’s 67 Counties have also passed similar resolutions, though Highlands County has yet to join the list. "Hopefully, the action taken by the individual cities in Highlands County will encourage our County Comission to take similar action," said Linda Patrice Ayala, the Tobacco Prevention Specialist for Highlands County.

"Tonight, the city of Avon Park demonstrated its commitment to protect the health and safety of the entire community, including its youngest and most vulnerable citizens," added Dr. Hummel. "Hopefully the growing list of City and County Resolutions will inspire the Florida Legislature to pass meaningful laws to restrict the sale of these starter products so that they do not fall into the hands of children and teenagers."

For more information on the work of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County, visit

Barry Hummel MS and Patrice Ayala
Dr. Barry Hummel and Linda Patrice Ayala after their presentation to the Avon Park City Council.