On December 18, 2018, Franklin’s Common Council voted to include electronic cigarettes in the current tobacco ordinance.  With support from partners’ the Franklin Police Department, Franklin Public Schools, and the Franklin Board of Health, members of Volition Franklin Youth FACT group educated the council about electronic smoking devices which contains cancer-causing chemicals in youth-appealing fruit and candy flavors.  Many of these devices contain high levels of nicotine, which is damaging to the developing brain. 

The day of the ordinance proposal, U.S. Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome M. Adams issued an advisory stressing the importance of protecting children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e- cigarette use.  

In the amended ordinance, “smoking” is defined as inhaling or exhaling a lightened or heated tobacco product or smoking device that creates aerosol or vapor. This includes the following products: cigars cigarettes, pipes, hookahs, marijuana, electronic cigarettes, and vape pens.  Smoking and use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited in any of the following enclosed places:

-        Restaurants

-        Taverns

-        Retail establishments

-        Lodging establishments

-        Common areas of multiple- unit residential properties

-        Child care centers

-        City buildings

-        Educational facilities (including school-sponsored functions)

-        Places of employment or public places

-        Inpatient health care facilities

-        Theaters

-        Private clubs

-        Correctional Facilities

-        A sports arena

-        A bus shelter

-        A public conveyance

-        Residence halls or dormitories owned or operated by a college or university

Franklin is one of multiple nearby cities to implement this ordinance with intent to create a healthier, safer community. For questions, contact the Franklin Health Department: 414-425-9101

Kindness is a Gift

Volition Franklin Youth participate in kindness week by offering candy canes to other students. We also posted locker signs that said “throw kindness like confetti”. The December meeting for the high school and the middle school was spent adding messages about kindness to the candy cane. Volition Franklin Youth wanted to spread the importance of kindness because kids who are bullied are more likely to resort to drugs and other substances.  Data has shown that about 25% of Franklin students have felt bullied in the past. By being kind, we can prevent students from potentially misusing substances. Volition Youth handed out the candy canes during school to their peers and the Language Arts teachers were given bags of candy canes to hand out to their students they noticed being kind.

Meeting with Rep. Jessie Rodriguez

On Thursday, December 6th, Volition Franklin Youth FACT group met with Representative Jessie Rodriguez to share the work they have been doing, specifically around youth tobacco and vape use.  Students explained how cigarillos and e-juice are flavored and packaged like candy.  Almost 9 in 10 cigarette smokers tried smoking before they were 18 years old.  Today, almost 75% of high-school aged youth using tobacco products reported using a flavored tobacco product.  Volition Franklin Youth FACT group helps spread the truth about tobacco by encouraging healthy, informed decisions amongst their peers. 

Gratitude Stones

Studies have found that gratitude is a powerful substance abuse prevention technique. In a study where three groups of people had to write (1) something they were thankful for (2) anything that came to mind or (3) something that was bothering them every day for a period of time, the group who wrote something positive had less anxiety and depression. In November, youth created gratitude stones to share with their peers. They wrote positive messages on rocks and left them in the school office for people to take what they needed.

Franklin High School Halloween Spooktacular

October 29, 2018

 Franklin High School student senate hosted their 2nd annual Halloween Spooktacular.   Volition Youth participated by offering cookie decorating to youth in the community and their parents.  We had signage that said “candy flavored vapes are a trick not a treat” and gave out coloring books and comic books about children living tobacco and drug free.  We also provided education about e-cigarettes to adults. 100 children and their parents participated in the event.

Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) training

October 26, 2018

 High school students were selected and trained to be Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) presenters. TATU is a program that allows high school students to mentor younger students about the dangers of smoking and vaping.  Research shows that peer-led programs are effective ways to reduce youth tobacco use and positively influence younger students. We give presentations to 6th grade science classes at each elementary school in Franklin.  During the presentation, we have a section about decision making and refusal skills.  High school presenters conduct a skit in which they demonstrate various refusal skills and the six grade students have to guess which skill was used.  About 350 six grade students are reached at all five public elementary schools.


Three seniors led the training for new TATU presenters.  In addition to presenting about tobacco/vape use and its health effects, they also discussed good presentation and leadership skills.  All students were able to demonstrate the actual content of the TATU presentation to each other.  Nine students were trained.

Red Ribbon Week

October 22-25, 2018

 Red Ribbon Week is a nation drug prevention awareness campaign. Franklin supported Red Ribbon Week by doing activities in the middle and high school all week. On Monday we were at the high school holding signs with facts about tobacco, vaping, underage drinking, and drugs on them.  We also handed out bookmarks with a drug prevention message to English teachers to distribute during class.  Students also read announcements each day stating drug facts, defining red ribbon week, and encouraging students to wear the color red on Thursday (last day of school for the week).  300 book marks were distributed. 

On Wednesday our middle school students passed out “tobacco tricks not treat” candy during lunch.  Students also created posters to place around the lunch room walls with facts about the negative health effects, costs, and tricky advertisement of tobacco products.  About 700 students were reached during this activity.  

On Thursday we went back to the high school to display the posters and distribute red Volition socks and red ribbons so students could participate in the wear red day. 200 ribbons and socks were given to students.  Students were encouraged to take a selfie wearing their new red gear and post to social media with #VolitionFranklin.   Posters were hung on Volition member lockers advertising Red Ribbon Week and reminding them of the contest.  Of all the students who posted to their social media accounts, one was selected at random to win a $20 Starbucks gift card.  One lesson we learned is that if a student has a private account, we are not able to see their photo, even if they use the hashtag.  Moving forward we will encourage students to first like or follow Volition social media prior to posting their own photo.  Overall the socks were well received by students.

Trunk or Treat at APA

October 21, 2018

 Volition Youth participated in the Academy for Performing Arts, a community partner’s, Trunk or Treat event.  We decorated our car and dressed up like Candy Land characters.  We passed out candy and candy-sharped erasers to children participating in the event.  The candy had a sticker on them that said “candy flavored tobacco is a trick, not a treat”.  We also took time to educate parents about vaping and flavored tobacco.  About 50 children and their parents participated in this event.

High School meeting

Students are working hard prepping materials for Red Ribbon Week. We made bookmarks, red ribbons, and posters for the event. Liv also led the Tobacco Shoes Swap FACTivims and discussed health disparities related to tobacco use.