The Tobacco Prevention/Cessation Program goals are to help smokers quit, prevent youth from smoking and protect everyone from secondhand smoke. This is done by increasing awareness about the risk of tobacco use and second hand smoke, providing cessation support in our community and at local businesses, and coordinating a SWAT (Students working Against tobacco) club in our public middle and high schools.
Another important goal is the promotion of the Florida Quit –For- Lifeline which provides specialized help for adults and pregnant women and nicotine replacement patches at no charge to smokers who want to quit. Toll-free 1-877-822-6669.
Our staff works in conjunction with the Tobacco-Free Partnership, a coalition which is dedicated to reducing tobacco use and its devastating consequences in Gulf County. They also coordinate SWAT (Students Working against Tobacco) in middle and high schools and partner with Gulf District Schools Safe and Drug Free Program to train teachers to utilize tobacco prevention and education related material in their classroom
Facts and statistics related to tobacco:
- Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. 29,000 Floridians die each year from smoking related causes.
- A smoker inhales only 15% of the smoke from a cigarette; the other 85% becomes second-hand smoke.
- Children exposed to second hand smoke have more asthma attacks, sinus & ear infections, allergies, bronchitis, pneumonia and croup.
- Smoking decreases a person’s life expectancy anywhere from 7 to 20 years.
- Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can result in low birth weight babies. It has been associated with infertility, miscarriages, tubal pregnancies, infant mortality and childhood morbidity. Additionally, cigarette smoking may cause long-term learning disabilities.
- Almost 90% of adult smokers began at or before age 18.
- Students report cigarettes (38.8% lifetime and 11.8%, past 30-day) and marijuana (28.3% lifetime and 14.8% past 30-day) as two of the most commonly used drugs in Bay County. (2006 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey)
For more information on tobacco or the Tobacco-Free Partnership, contact Sarah Quaranta at (850)227-1276 ext. 205.