November 10th, 2020
The Town of Bluffton, South Carolina declared November 2020 Smoke-Free and Vape-Free Awareness Month. The Proclamation, issued by the Bluffton Mayor and the Town Council, acknowledges that the US Surgeon General, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and American Cancer Association warned that vaping poses a serious public health risk to young people and that e-cigarette use among teens has become increasingly common among all adolescent demographic groups. The Mayor encouraged community members to support youth in making positive decisions and to take appropriate measures to prevent smoking and vaping. The town was prompted to issue the Proclamation by the LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY). In 2019, Mayor Sulka was interviewed in a youtube video by Teens for Healthy Youth at May River about the dangers of e-cigarettes. Through her conversation with THY members and their advisor, the Mayor developed an awareness about this public health issue. Soon after, the Mayor and Town Council of Bluffton approved the inclusion of vaping in their Smoking Ordinance. In an interview with WTOC, Mayor Sulka tributes the local ordinance change to LCAHY creating an awareness of this public health issue. The Town of Bluffton has been a champion of LCAHY and THY and has worked with LCAHY and THY to promote positive youth development.