News and Events

Helping Employees Quit Tobacco
By Jenna Hewett & Leslie Spurlock
November 15, 2018

Employees are a valuable resource in every business. Although fewer people today are smoking, employees who smoke or vape* during work hours can cost employers $4,056 in lost productivity annually. This is a result of frequent smoke breaks, increased number of sick days, and distraction. Health care costs can increase by as much as $2,056 per smoking employee for a total of $6,112. A hidden cost is low morale among non-smokers who are likely being asked to cover for the co-worker who is outside smoking. Could this be your worksite?

Smoking is an addiction, not a habit. So how do employers help employees quit tobacco? Number one; employees are never asked to quit. Environment and a culture of support for wellness creates a climate of change for smokers. This is easily accomplished with a Tobacco Free Policy. Every business has a set of rules for employees regardless of industry. Every set of rules should include a policy addressing tobacco use while on duty or on property.

Developing a Tobacco Control Policy is a legal and moral responsibility. The Florida Clean Indoor Act (Florida Statute 386.201 – 386.2125) bans smoking in an enclosed indoor work place. A key requirement is for the person in charge of an enclosed indoor workplace to develop and implement a policy regarding smoking prohibitions. A well written policy protects non-smokers and offers smokers support via continuous cessation opportunities. The policy sets the expectation, promotes wellness, communicates cessation opportunities, and is equitable for all employees.

How do employers write a policy? Each policy should begin with a statement of purpose or rationale explaining the goal of the policy. Who does the policy apply to? Employees? Or everyone who comes on the property? What areas of the property are covered by the policy? Are vehicles covered? What are the rules? Are there designated smoking areas? How many breaks are allowed for all employees? What terms are defined? Will today’s definitions cover tomorrow’s new tobacco product? What is the date of implementation? How is the policy enforced and by whom? Read More

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Bradford High School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Participate in Homecoming!
November 2, 2018

Bradford High School Homecoming Week took place October 29, 2018 - November 2, 2018. Each club and organization on campus is represented by club sweethearts and escorts. The 2018 SWAT Sweetheart was Jordan Marshall and she was escorted by Emery Banks.

Jordan Marshall is the daughter of Keith and Dana Marshall from Starke, Florida. She is a junior at Bradford High School. Jordan is a varsity cheerleader and a member of SWAT. She plans to attend Univerity of South Florida to obtain her MSN and one day become a nurse practitioner.

Jordan's escort Emery Banks is the son of Emery and Cheri Banks from Starke, Florida. Emery is a junior at Bradford High School where he is a varsity football player and SWAT member. He hopes to play D1 football in the future. Read More

     

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Tobacco Enters Our Community in the Retail Environment, Where it is Visible and Cheap
September 18, 2018

The tobacco industry spends the vast majority of their marketing money in the retail environment – over $1 million/hour to promote their products, in which, most of their marketing efforts are aimed directly to our kids.

Essentially, the tobacco industry is buying shelf space to keep tobacco visible and offering price discounts to keep tobacco cheap. These companies are no fool, what they are really “buying” is youth who initiate - adults who can’t quit!

In efforts to combat these marketing tactics, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County has been elbow deep in the retail realm of the tobacco industry for the past few years. During the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year, adult TFP members, along with the help of Bradford County SWAT Youth, conducted  point of sale (POS) store audits, for nearly every licensed tobacco retailer in Bradford County.

The retail point of sale is comprised of three main categories: (a) point-of-sale advertisements, (b) price discounts (c) coupons. This was a very comprehensive and lengthy process as the store audit assessment form was 11 pages long and contained 27 questions. However, this first phase of retail assessment was an eye-opening experience for all involved and brought much to our attention locally. Read More

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Local Students Working Against Tobacco Members Attend Regional Training in Bradford County
July 1, 2018

On Saturday, June 9th, 2018 two SWAT youth, Hayden and Tommy, attended the Regional SWAT Meeting at the Montgomery Center in Starke, Florida.


Hayden and Tommy ready for an exciting day of training!

During the meeting, the Youth Advocacy Board (YAB) members presented the new SWAT Campaign, “Not a Lab Rat” that is a call to action to fight against E.N.D.S. (Electronic Nicotine Delivery System).  E.N.D.S. are also known as electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pin and e-hookah.  A new and very popular E.N.D.S. product, Juul contains the equivalent to a pack of cigarettes worth of nicotine.  Juul has such a high capacity of nicotine; there is a limit to how much you can buy in one month.

After presenting on the history of E.N.D.S. the flavors, health implications and marketing tactics, the YAB encouraged a Call to Action for SWAT by “Educating, Empowering and Enlisting” to counteract the growing use rate of E.N.D.S.

Photo Voice is another exciting project that the SWAT youth learned about during the Regional SWAT meeting.  Photo Voice is a process by which people can identify, represent and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique.  The main goal of Photo Voice is to record and reflect a community’s strengths and concerns.  It uses pictures to promote conversations, to grow knowledge about important issues and to reach policy makers with solutions... Read More

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Bradford High School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Youth Clean Up Local Parks 
April 6, 2018

During Tobacco Free Florida Week, Bradford High School SWAT members held park clean ups around Bradford County. Students picked up tobacco litter and trash from three local parks: Wainwright park, Edwards Road Sports Complex, and Thomas Road Park.

SWAT students are always shocked to see how much tobacco litter accumulates each year.  Cigarette butts continue to be one of the most littered items in the United States today. National data reveals that tobacco litter accounts for roughly one-third of all litter collected during clean-up projects. Read More

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Tobacco Prevention Specialist of Bradford County Interviewed on WJXT Channel 4 News 
April 3, 2018

On April 3, 2018 the Tobacco Prevention Specialist of Bradford County, Jenna Hewett, and the Tobacco Prevention Specialist of Columbia County, Joey O'Hern, were interviewed by Morning Show anchor Melanie Lawson of WJXT Channel 4 News in Jacksonville Florida.

The three discussed the decline in cigarette smoking and the success of tobacco prevention program across the state.  While Florida has seen a significant decline in smoking, there are still about 2.5 million adult cigarette smokers in the state. We have also seen a significant rise in the use of electronic nicotine delivery devices.


Pictured from L to R: Bradford County Tobacco Prevention Specialist Jenna Hewett, WJXT Morning Anchor Melanie Lawson, Columbia County Tobacco Prevention Specialist Joey O'Hern

Studies show that two out of three cigarette smokers wish they could quit. The Tobacco Prevention Specialist of Bradford County stated that Tobacco Free Florida has many resources for those wanting to quit that allow to access FREE tools, choosing as many as needed, or combining the services that work best. There are seven free resources that Floridians have access to: phone quit, group quit, web quit, text2quit, email tips, 2 week starter kit and a quit guide. Read More

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Local High School Student Represents Bradford County at National Leadership Forum
March 1, 2018

Grace Johns, a senior at Bradford High School, received a scholarship to attend the 28th Annual CADCA National Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. This scholarship was very competitive and it was a huge honor to be selected.

CADCA's mission is to reduce drug, alcohol and tobacco use one community at a time. The National Leadership Forum trains students and adults on relevant prevention issues and best practices.

Grace enjoyed her trip to D.C. and the knowledge and training she received was invaluable. "Attending the CACDA allowed me to connect with other high school youth working towards the same goal of eliminating tobacco and drug use in our schools," Grace said. "I had the opportunity to hear some great speakers who shared new ideas and strategies on how we can encourage youth to make good choices." Grace is excited to bring back what she learned to Bradford County and impact the citizens in a positive way.

For information on other leadership opportunities available though our Bradford County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Chapter, contact Jenna Hewett at JHewett@QuitDoc.com.

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Rural Communities Such as Bradford County Have Higher Rates of Tobacco Use
February 23, 2018

Most people in this world today realize and have learned the threat tobacco use poses to their health. The serious health risks have been discussed for decades in school health classes, by parents, doctors and by prevention experts and programs. While, tobacco use continues to decline, we still have at risk communities all over the United States that have much higher usage rates than others.

Research has shown that rural communities like Bradford County, Florida, are more heavily affected by cigarette and smokeless tobacco use. In fact, the health of people living in rural areas is impacted by tobacco use more so than those in urban and metropolitan areas, often because of socioeconomic factors such as lower levels of education, and higher levels of unemployment.

According to the American Lung Association, smokers living in rural areas are more likely to smoke 15 or more cigarettes per day than smokers living in urban areas.

Because of their low socioeconomic status, those people are also exposed to secondhand smoke more often and are less likely to successfully quit, even after multiple attempts. In addition, teens in rural populations also smoke more and at earlier ages than their urban peers making them replacement smokers for their elder counterparts that have died off from tobacco use. Read More

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Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Celebrates The Bradford County High School Homecoming
October 27, 2017

Bradford High School Homecoming was held on October 27, 2017. Each year at homecoming, clubs and organizations at Bradford High School are represented by club sweethearts.

The 2017 Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) sweetheart was Hanna Alford. Hanna is the daughter of Phillip and August Alford of Brooker. Hanna is a member of the varsity cheer team and is on student government. Hanna has been involved with SWAT for three years. Hanna is also a member of the Brooker Baptist church.

Brandon Anders is the 2017 SWAT escort. Brandon is the son Scotty and Lynn Anders of Starke. Brandon has been a member of the varsity baseball team for 4 years and is also a member of FFA and SWAT.
   

Read More

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Bradford County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Members Attend Regional SWAT Meeting
October 21, 2017

Students Working Against Tobacco Youth from across Region 2 met in Bradford County at the Charley E. Johns Conference Center for their annual regional meeting. Each county in Region 2 had two youth in attendance. The meeting featured Sam Allen. Sam was a very engaging and inspirational speaker. His presentation was called ““Seven Things I’d tell my 15-year-old self.” Sam encouraged students to understand and focus on why they are involved in local prevention efforts.

SWAT youth enjoyed a delicious lunch and had so much fun in the photo booth. During the afternoon sessions, students were trained on a ENDS Products Campaign that featured true & false cards (Epic & Fail). YAB youth finished up the afternoon by training Region 2 SWAT youth on Taking Down Tobacco.


Photo Booth Fun with Paxon and Grace!

To learn more about the SWAT Chapter in Bradford County, or to get involved, visit www.TFP-Bradford.org or email info@TFP-Bradford.org.

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Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County appoints 2017-2018 Advisory Council
September 14, 2017

STARKE, FL — The Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County has appointed its 2017-2018 Advisory Council.  The Advisory Council members assume a leadership role in regard to tobacco control and advocacy, education, and prevention and policy change in Bradford County.

This year’s advisory council members include Cheryl Canova of Santa Fe College Andres Center, Tiffany Dougherty of Shands Regional Medical Center, Candace Osteen of Bradford High School, Camee Morrow of Students Working Against Tobacco and Paxon Wise of Students Working Against Tobacco.

Cheryl Canova is currently serving as the Santa Fe College Andrews Center Director, where she also is beginning her 23rd year as an Adjunct Instructor. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and a Master’s in Health Education from the University of Florida.  She is active in the Bradford Community currently  serving as President of the Bradford County Education Foundation, is a past president of both Atlrusa of Starke International and Kiwanis Club of Starke, is the secretary of the Starke Unit for the Salvation Army that provides the Weekend Backpack program for Bradford Schools, is the coordinator for the Back to School Info Fair that provides students with school supplies to start school,  and has served as an Advisory Board member for several years with the Tobacco Free Partnership in Bradford County.   She currently holds the seat for Bradford County School Board for District 3.  She is married to George Canova and they have two dogs, Zac and Zoe.  Cheryl is dedicated to the needs of the children in Bradford County and is happy to advocate for the Tobacco Free Partnership program. Read More

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Bradford County Students Working Against Tobacco Members Attend Statewide Meeting
By Abby Ames and Camee Morrow
June 17, 2017

On June 9-11, 2017, Abby Ames and Camee Morrow had the opportunity to attend the Statewide SWAT meeting. The meeting took place at the Lake Yale Conference Center.

Over these couple of days we learned a lot of shocking facts about tobacco and made lots of new friends. This training really opened our eyes to see the dangers of tobacco and how far we've come in tobacco prevention since the early 1990's. 

We are very thankful for the opportunity to attend this training and we can't wait to go again. Being there really sparked our hearts to make a change! We hope that the next year to come will be even better than the last and we can't wait to continue to make a BIG difference in our town. 

   


From L to R: Abby Ames & Camee Morrow

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Bradford High School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Attend Annual QuitDoc Tobacco Prevention Summit 
April 28, 2017

On April 28, 2017 Bradford High School (BHS) Students Working Against Tobacco Youth attended the 9th Annual QuitDoc Tobacco Prevention Summit in Gainesville, Florida.

The theme for this one day summit was Emerging Issues of Tobacco Control. SWAT students participated in two keynote sessions where Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids presented about taking down tobacco and informing decision makers.


Pictured L to R: Maycee Barnes, Addison Andrews, Paxon Wise, Jenna Hewett, Charli Morrow, Jacey Woods, Camee Morrow, Taylynn Jackson

SWAT students also participated in two breakout sessions. Youth breakout sessions were interactive and an amazing training experience for BHS youth. Students were trained on public speaking and on rural county tobacco initiatives. Read More

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Tobacco Free Partnership Members and SWAT Members Educate the Community at the Strawberry Festival
April 8, 2017

The 19th Annual Strawberry Festival took place in Starke, Florida on April 8-9, 2017. The North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce puts on this annual event, and the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Bradford County was a silver sponsor for the event this year.

This is the second year the Chamber of Commerce made the decision to protects attendees of the Strawberry Festival by making the event Tobacco-Free. Designated areas were set up for tobacco use. The Tobacco-Free Partnership of Bradford County provided the signage for the event and participated as a vendor.

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) were also at the event educating attendees on the dangers of tobacco use and the dangers of second-hand smoke.

We would like to thank the North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce for protecting citizens from second-hand smoke by having a tobacco-free event in Bradford County! 

 


Pictured Left to Right:
Maycee Barnes and Addison Andrews

 

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The Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County and Tobacco Free Florida are raising awareness during “Through with Chew Week”
February 10, 2017

Starke, Fla. – The Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County and the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program are raising awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco – like chew and dip – during Through With Chew Week. This national public awareness campaign was created to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people, and Tobacco Free Florida aims to help combat this deadly addiction. Through With Chew Week takes place Feb. 19-25, with the Great American Spit Out – a day when smokeless tobacco users join together to quit – on Feb. 23.

Although the youth cigarette smoking rate in Florida decreased over 50 percent between 2012 and 2016, the number of Florida high school students who reported current use of smokeless tobacco products decreased only 24.5 percent in those same four years. The disproportionately higher rate of smokeless tobacco use in rural areas is also alarming – current youth smokeless tobacco use is more than three times higher in rural communities than in non-rural areas. 7.5 percent of youth ages 11-17 in Bradford County reported current use of smokeless tobacco products in 2016, according to the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey.

“While we’re proud that youth smoking is at an all-time low, the number of young Floridians using smokeless tobacco is decreasing at a dramatically slower rate,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. "We need to do more to educate about the risks and deter our young people of using these products.”

 

To raise awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) clubs at both Bradford Middle and Bradford High held events on their campuses. The SWAT students educated students on campus during Through With Chew Week by making posters to display in hallways and by including smokeless tobacco facts and statistics during the morning and afternoon announcements. 
Read More

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Bradford High School Students Working Against Tobacco Student Speaks at Legislative Delegation Meeting 
January 18, 2017

Senator Rob Bradley and Representative Bobby Payne met with residents of Bradford County on January 18, 2017. The legislative delegation hearing was held at the Bradford County Courthouse. Most of the issues discussed were pertaining to health and the new Starke bypass.

Bradford High School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Club member, Grace Johns was in attendance. Grace spoke to the legislators about the work being done in Bradford County and provided information on the local Tobacco Prevention Program. She spoke specifically about how SWAT programs in Bradford County focus on the smoke not the smoker. SWAT students believe it isn’t their place to tell someone to quit smoking but instead focus on protecting those who choose not to smoke from the health hazards of tobacco products and second-hand smoke. Madison stated that “85% of new tobacco users start between the ages of 12 and 17, before it is even legal to purchase tobacco."


Grace Johns addresses the delegation.

The SWAT Chapter in Bradford County is working on reducing usage and exposure to tobacco products through many avenues and initiatives. The two main issues that the organization is working on are  policies to counteract tobacco product marketing at the retail point of sale (POS) and reduce smokeless tobacco use.  Read More

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The Issue of Smokeless Tobacco
January 17, 2017

Smokeless tobacco is not burned, contains nicotine and is addictive. Smokeless tobacco is typically called spit tobacco, chewing tobacco, chew, dip, plug, and probably a few other things. Types of smokeless tobacco include:

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Tobacco Free Florida and Tobacco free Partnership of Bradford County Encourage Tobacco Users to Quit on the Great American Smokeout on November 17, 2016
November 10, 2016

WHO/WHAT:  In observance of the Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, Tobacco Free Florida and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County encourage tobacco users to use the date to make a quit plan or to plan in advance to quit smoking on that day – November 17, 2016.

The nationally celebrated Great American Smokeout, now in its 41st year, challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps them learn about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County is raising awareness of Tobacco Free Florida’s free and proven-effective resources available to Floridians to successfully quit. The “Quit Your Way” program provides users interested in quitting access to free tools, including a 2-Week Starter Kit of nicotine replacement patches, Text2Quit, Email Tips and a Quit Guide. They can choose as many tools and services as they need, or use them in addition to Tobacco Free Florida’s Phone, Group and Web Quit services. Read More

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Bradford High School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Club Observes Red Ribbon Week
October 31, 2016

Bradford High School SWAT Students partnered the Bradford Community Coalition to educate students on campus about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. 

Red Ribbon Week was observed October 23 - 31. The theme was You Only Live Once (YOLO) so BE DRUG FREE. 

Students at Bradford High School were informed about the dangers and consequences of using any of these substances. SWAT students and Bradford Community Coalition members encouraged students to think twice when considering drug, alcohol or tobacco use. Bradford High students were very receptive to the information and items they were given while visiting the table set-up. Read More

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Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Celebrates The Bradford County High School Homecoming
October 28, 2016

Bradford High School Homecoming was held on October 28, 2016. Each year at homecoming, clubs and organizations at Bradford High School are represented by club sweethearts.


The 2016 Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) sweetheart was Jacey Woods. Jacey is the daughter of Jason and Tracey Woods. She is a 16 year old junior at Bradford High School. Jacey has been a member of SWAT the last 2 years, she is the executive board Vice President, member of Girls with Pearls as the director of Standards, and a varsity cheerleader. Jacey is dual enrolled at Santa Fe College. Read More

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The Bradford County Students Working Against Tobacco Chapter Starts the 2016-2017 School Year!
September 16, 2016

Perhaps the most successful SWAT recruitment in years was held at Bradford High School this quarter. The NOISE, the EXCITEMENT and the LAUGHTER brought so much spirit to Bradford High School’s first and second lunches on September 16, 2016. 


SWAT members Maycee Barnes (L) and Paxon Wise (R) recruit new members!

The SWAT club’s President and long-time member, Paxon Wise, did an excellent job reeling people in. The SWAT advisor and many other SWAT students were also there in hopes to attract students to become a part of the SWAT Club. There was a booth set up with pictures, give aways, flyers and membership forms. There were so many students that stopped by to learn more about the SWAT club, and many of them signed the recruitment form, wanting more information and to become a part of the club.

“Today was such a positive experience,” said Candace Osteen, BHS SWAT Advisor.  “We were able to reach out to many potential SWAT members and we look forward to seeing what our club will be able to accomplish this year. And Paxon… she’s an awesome president! She pulled so many people in with her fun personality and positive attitude, I’m sure this club will increase its membership this year!”

If you would like more information about the SWAT Chapter of Bradford County, contact Jenna Hewett, jhewett@quitdoc.com or call (904)-769-9647. 

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Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County appoints 2016-2017 Advisory Council
August 18, 2016

STARKE, FL — The Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County has appointed its 2016-2017 Advisory Council.  The Advisory Council members assume a leadership role in regard to tobacco control and advocacy, education, and prevention and policy change in Bradford County.

This year’s advisory council members (from L to R) include Cheryl Canova of Santa Fe College Andres Center, Tiffany Dougherty of Shands Regional Medical Center, Candace Osteen of Bradford High School, Taylynn Jackson of Students Working Against Tobacco and Paxon Wise of Students Working Against Tobacco.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County is dedicated to the creation of tobacco-free social norms through a combination of community education, youth advocacy, and changes in local tobacco policies.  The mission of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County reflects the goals of the CDC Best Practices, especially in regards to changes in local tobacco policies to create and promote tobacco-free social norms. The Partnership also fosters youth involvement. Using tobacco control as the model, the Partnership raises youth leaders from local schools and youth organizations. Read More

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QuitDoc Foundation Exposes the Risks of Secondhand Smoke
Eighth Annual Tobacco Free Florida Week Aims to Break the Myth that Secondhand Smoke is Harmless
April 29, 2016

Starke, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County are launching a new initiative, Secondhand Smoke Exposed, as part of the eighth annual Tobacco Free Florida Week, taking place May 8-14, to educate Bradford county residents about the dangers of secondhand smoke.

This year’s theme, Secondhand Smoke Exposed, focuses on dispelling the common myth that secondhand smoke is harmless. The fact is that breathing even small amounts of secondhand smoke can be dangerous.
Read More

 

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Tobacco-Free Partnership of Bradford County Recognizes Members through Awards Meeting
April 21, 2016


Taylynn Jackson
BHS SWAT Vice-President


Cheryl Canova 
Santa Fe Andrews Center



The 2015-2016 year in tobacco prevention work has been very successful in Bradford County. Two volunteers were recognized as Volunteers of the Year for their work specifically related to Counter Tools surveillance. James Lyons and Joy Johnson from the Florida Department of Health in Bradford County completed twenty store surveys. These store surveys were used to gather data regarding retail outlets in Bradford County. This data will provide information to help the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Bradford County decipher where our efforts in this goal area will be focused. Forty-one surveys were completed in total and we look forward to evaluating the information that was collected for upcoming work. 

SWAT students were also recognized for their hard work this year. Carson Elder, Bradford High School Senior, was recognized for being the BHS SWAT President for the last two years. Her leadership has been invaluable and we will miss her! Taylynn Jackson was recognized for being the BHS SWAT Vice-President and Paxon Wise for being the BHS SWAT secretary. Candace Osteen was recognized for being the BHS SWAT adviser. Read More

 

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TFP Members and SWAT Members Educate the Community at the Strawberry Festival
April 10, 2016

The 18th Annual Strawberry Festival took place in Starke, Florida on April 9-10, 2016. The North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce puts on this annual event, and the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Bradford County was a silver sponsor for the event this year.

This year the Chamber of Commerce made the decision to protects attendees of the Strawberry Festival by making the event Tobacco-Free. Designated areas were set up for tobacco use. The Tobacco-Free Partnership of Bradford County provided the signage for the event and participated as a vendor.


Pictured Left to Right - Paxon Wise, Maycee Barnes, Mr. Strawberry and Maddie Hewett 

SWAT students were also at the event educating attendees on the dangers of tobacco use and the dangers of second-hand smoke.

We would like to thank the North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce for protecting citizens from second-hand smoke by having a tobacco-free event in Bradford County! 

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Bradford County Participates in Evaluation of Local Point of Sale Tobacco Marketing
March 3, 2016

Bradford County Tobacco Free Partnership Members and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Youth are working on a new project to assess local tobacco marketing practices at the retail level!

Tobacco companies spend $10-$13 billion dollars a year to market their products. These companies spend close to $1 billion dollars in Florida alone. This represents $7,700-$10,000 dollars spent to recruit each of the 1.3 million new teenage smokers who pick up their first cigarette every year.

Eighty-five percent of that total is spent on point-of-sale marketing. This type of marketing includes contracts, product placement, sign placement, and price breaks. This aggressive marketing floods our stores with images and objects that promote smoking. Exterior ads are used to expose the entire community to tobacco messages. Children are 3 times more sensitive than adults to current tobacco advertising and marketing.

Tobacco Free Partnership members and SWAT youth have assessed 35 stores in Bradford County to gain more information and data on the marketing of these products. The stores are being assessed with a store mapper tool provided by countertools.org.

The Store Mapper is an interactive mapping website that allows advocates to find and display local tobacco retailer data. The Mapper also analyzes and displays relationships between tobacco retail and other important locations such as youth venues (schools and parks), and between neighborhood variables such as tobacco retailer density and level of household poverty. Read More

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Smokeless Tobacco Use Remains High in Bradford County
QuitDoc Foundation and Tobacco Free Florida are raising awareness during “Through with Chew Week”
February 2, 2016

STARKE, Fla. – QuitDoc Foundation and the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida are raising awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco, like chew and dip, during “Through With Chew Week.” This public awareness campaign was created to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people and help combat this deadly addiction. “Through With Chew Week” takes place Feb. 14-20.

To raise awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use, Bradford High School Students Working Against Tobacco Club Members at Bradford High School will be having a Through With Chew Week Pledge Drive The Pledge Drive takes place on Feb. 15-19, 2016 during lunch hours. This pledge drive will allow students to vow to be through with smokeless tobacco products.

Although youth cigarette smoking rates in Florida are at an all-time low, 9.6 percent of high school students in Bradford County reported current use of smokeless tobacco products in 2014, according to the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey. These results are well above the state average of 5.4 percent.

“Smokeless tobacco products contain harmful chemicals that are known to cause cancer,” said Shannon Hughes, Director of the Florida Department of Health’s Community Health Promotion. "Youth who use smokeless products are more likely to experiment with other types of tobacco. Studies have shown that adolescent boys who use smokeless tobacco have a higher risk of becoming cigarette smokers.” Read More

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United States Congress Passes Child Nicotine Poisoning Protection Act; The Bill Now Goes to President Obama for His Signature
January 11, 2016

On January 11, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation requiring that liquid nicotine be sold in child-resistant packaging, consistent with Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.The Senate previously approved the legislation (the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act), which is designed to protect children from poisoning from highly concentrated vials of liquid nicotine.  The bill now heads to the White House for President Obama's signature.

"In recent years, the marketing of unregulated flavored nicotine products has led to a surge in accidental ingestion by children," said Dr. Barry Hummel, a Pediatrician and Co-Founder of the Quit Doc Foundation. "The new law will hold candy-flavored nicotine, including bubble gum and gummy bear flavored products, to the same standards as other over-the-counter drugs by requiring child-resistant packaging."

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, one teaspoon of liquid nicotine could be lethal to a small child, and smaller amounts can cause severe illness.
"In 2011, there were 271 cases of accidental nicotine ingestion reported to poison control centers," added Dr. Hummel. "That number jumped to 3,783 by 2014, a 14-fold increase. More than half of these cases involved children under the age of 6, the group most vulnerable to severe illness and death." Read More

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QuitDoc Foundation to Study Youth Tobacco Intervention Program in Bradford County
CVS Health Lends its Support to the Project to Help Reduce Youth Tobacco Use in Florida
November 10, 2015

STARKE, FL, November 10, 2015: The QuitDoc Foundation is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office. As part of a commitment to help people lead tobacco free lives, CVS Health has generously awarded the QuitDoc Foundation a one-year Community Grant to implement and evaluate a pilot youth tobacco intervention program. The program is intended to serve youth who have received citations by law enforcement in Bradford County for tobacco use or possession.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the QuitDoc Foundation and CVS Health to bring this innovative program to Bradford County,” said Sheriff Gordon Smith. “Our goal is to help reduce tobacco use among minors, utilizing this educational intervention program.”

“As a pharmacy innovation company, we are committed to helping people on their path to better health which includes supporting smoking cessation programs,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. “We are pleased to support the work that QuitDoc Foundation does in the community and we look forward to working with them to fulfill their program’s mission and help make the next generation tobacco-free.”

CVS Health

The program is called the Tobacco Intervention Program for Students, or TIPS. The TIPS modules are unique in that they use a combined education and intervention approach to reach youth participants. The QuitDoc Foundation is excited to pilot this program in Bradford County, with the hope that this project can serve as a model for the state of Florida to implement in the future. Read More

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Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Celebrates The Bradford County High School Homecoming
October 16 , 2015

Bradford High School Homecoming was held on October 16, 2015. Each year at homecoming, clubs and organizations at Bradford High School are represented by club sweethearts.

SWAT Sweethearts

 

The 2015 Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) sweetheart was Maycee Barnes. Maycee Barnes is the 15-year-old daughter of Glen Barnes and Christine Landry. Maycee has been a member for SWAT for 2 years. She is a sophomore at BHS where she is also involved as a member of FFA, a member of National Honor Society, and a Varsity Cheerleader. She is also the Vice-President of her class.

Maycee’s escort for homecoming was Peyton Welch. Peyton is the 15-year-old son of Steve and Amy Carter and Rick Welch. He is a sophomore at Bradford High School where he is on the baseball team.

Maycee and Peyton represented the SWAT program well during the homecoming parade and during Tornado Whirl!

For more information on the SWAT Program in Bradford County, please contact Jenna Hewett at JHewett@QuitDoc.com.

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Teen Smoking Rates at All-Time Low
E-Cigarette Use On the Rise, Cause for Concern
September 23, 2015

TALLAHASSEE – Youth cigarette smoking rates in Florida are at an all-time low according to new data released on Tuesday by the Florida Department of Health. Conventional cigarette use among Florida high school students dropped from 8.6 percent in 2013* to 6.9 percent in 2015 – a 19.7 percent change. The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) also showed declines in other combustible and traditional smokeless products.

“Floridians should be proud of the historic progress made in the state to reduce the number of young cigarette smokers,” said Community Health Promotion Division Director Shannon Hughes. “Since voters approved the constitutional amendment to create Tobacco Free Florida, high school cigarette smoking has gone down an impressive 52.4 percent.”

This new report also marks another important, but more troubling trend. Current e-cigarette use among high school students has increased – from 5.4 percent in 2013 to 15.8 percent in 2015. Hookah use among high school students has also increased, from 8.2 percent in 2013 to 9.7 percent in 2015. Since 2009, when FYTS began tracking current hookah use, the rate has increased 26 percent. Read More

FYTS 2015 Trend Data

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Dr. Jessica Spencer Addresses the Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County
September 17, 2015

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County had their first meeting of the fiscal year on September 17, 2015. This meeting's agenda included organizational updates from attendees, reviewing by laws and a special presentation from Dr. Jessica Spencer.

Dr. Spencer is a 16-year veteran in the substance abuse prevention and
intervention field. She works closely with substance abuse prevention coalitions,
alcohol task forces and youth development groups in her community. Dr. Spencer recently took a leave of absence from the Manatee County Substance Abuse Coalition, where she was the Project Director, to work on the Vote No on 2 campaign. She served as the Statewide Coalition Director for the Vote No on 2 Campaign. Read More

Dr. Jessica Spencer

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Tobacco Free Partnership Members and SWAT Representatives Attend Back to School Information Fair
August 14 , 2015

The 8th Annual Back to School Info Fair took place on August 14, 2015. The fair was held at the Bradford Middle School Gym. “The Back to School Info Fair” was established catering to the mental, physical and spiritual needs of our community, this event unifies the Bradford County community and assists children and families attending schools in Bradford County for the 2015-16 academic year. The objective of this event is to provide free information to the general public about the County’s varied organizations and to provide some school supplies for each student that attends... Read More

BCHS SWAT

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Warning Labels and Child-Resistant Packaging on Liquid Nicotine Bottles
A Letter from Florida Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong
July 22, 2015

There have been a number of media stories recently concerning the regulation of packaging for liquid nicotine intended for use in electronic cigarettes. The rapid increase of e-cigarette use by teens and the number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine is an alarming public health concern. The state of Florida urges immediate guidance from federal regulators and calls for increased vigilance from parents, businesses and e-cigarette users to keep these items away from children.

Liquid Nicotine Poisonings

Child-resistant packaging on bottles and cartridges of liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices are necessary to protect infants and children. If swallowed or absorbed through the skin, liquid nicotine can lead to serious illness or even death. In fact, the number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine rose from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014, according to a study published last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than half of the calls to poison centers due to e-cigarettes involved young children under age 5. The number of calls per month involving conventional cigarettes did not show a similar increase during the same time period... Read More

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Hampton City Council Passes Resolution Encouraging Restrictions on the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products
May 12, 2015

On May 12, 2015, Hampton City Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution asking retailers to halt the sale of flavored tobacco products targeting children and teenagers.
The resolution is symbolic gesture to help educate and call attention to the issue, hopefully prompting stronger action at the state and national level.

As part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the United States Congress banned flavored cigarettes.  The law also granted the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate other tobacco products, and granted states and local governments the right to regulate the time, place, and manner of all tobacco products.

Hampton FL

In Florida, numerous Municipalities and Counties across the State have adopted Flavored Tobacco Resolutions urging Tobacco Retailers to stop the sale and marketing of Flavored Tobacco Products in their areas. 

During the City Council Meeting, The Hampton City Council and Mayor were very interested and asked several questions regarding Flavored Tobacco Products. Tobacco-Free Partnership members were able to share information results from the 2012 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey that shows 13.4% of Bradford County youth, ages 11-17, currently use flavored tobacco products nearly twice as much as the statewide rate of 6.9%... Read More

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QuitDoc Awarded Tobacco Prevention Grant for Bradford County
May 5 , 2015

Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation (QuitDoc) has once again been awarded a grant from the State of Florida Department of Health to continue to provide tobacco awareness and prevention programs throughout Bradford County.  The programs are designed to reduce the number of teenagers who start smoking each year, to decrease the number of tobacco related deaths, and to provide information on appropriate methods to quit smoking.

The program is funded from a trust fund created with money paid to Florida as part of a settlement with the tobacco industry in 1997.   Florida sued the tobacco industry to recoup the cost of providing medical services to Florida residents that were caused by the use of tobacco.  The funding has been used to create Tobacco Free Florida, a comprehensive statewide tobacco prevention and cessation program.

“The Tobacco Free Florida program has been incredibly successful at reducing tobacco use among youth and adults in Florida,” reports Dr. Barry Hummel, a Pediatrician who co-founded QuitDoc.  “Use of traditional tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, and spit tobacco are now at historic lows in the state among all age groups.”

2014 FYTS Youth Rates

Tobacco Free Florida funds a local program in each of Florida’s 67 counties to focus on tobacco prevention issues that are unique to each community. 

In Bradford County, the program will continue to be managed by Jenna Hewett, the county’s Tobacco Prevention Specialist since July 2012.  She also facilitates the Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County, a coalition of community leaders that works together on tobacco issues that affect the residents of Bradford County, particularly its most vulnerable residents: youth and senior citizens.

The Partnership will be working on several initiatives to reduce youth access to tobacco products, to reduce illnesses caused by exposure to secondhand smoke, and to promote tobacco cessation services throughout the county... Read More

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Why School Tobacco Policy Matters
By Tracy DeCubellis, April 28, 2015

The topic of tobacco use in schools has been important for popular culture and academic research throughout the years.  Rock and Roll songs about smoking in school and movies showing rebellious teens smoking on campus are part of public perception about school tobacco use.  Since Brownsville Station observed back in 1973, “everybody knows that smoking ain’t allowed in school,” why does it still happen?  That is what researchers want to know.

School Bus

A recent look at school tobacco policies in Michigan and how they affect student smoking had some interesting results as reported in the Journal of School Health.

There is a statewide initiative in Michigan that encourages schools to create a 24/7 tobacco policy that covers on and off-campus activities and applies to all students, staff, and visitors.  This is similar to the school policy being encouraged in Florida through the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida. The Bradford County School District has been very proactive regarding policies that prohibit the use of tobacco products on campus and at off-campus activities. The district has adopted all twelve comprehensive policies and has also included restricting the use of e-cigarettes to the handbook as well. 

The results of the study showed that some school policies are indeed correlated with lower student tobacco use.  The findings suggest that schools should create a school-wide anti-tobacco message and culture.  This could include being sure students know the school tobacco policy, as well as giving students the message only a small percentage of adults actually use tobacco... Read More 

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Bradford County Youth Celebrate the Annual Kick Butts Day!
March 18, 2015

Tobacco companies market cheap, sweet and colorfully packaged cigars, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes that have flavors, with names such as "gummy bear" and "cotton candy." These tobacco products are designed specifically to be appealing to youth so they become addicted to tobacco in order to make them "replacement smokers" for adults that have died from tobacco addiction.

SWAT Booth

This is why today youth from all over the country participated in the 20th annual Kick Butts Day, a national day of activism sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. At more than 1,000 events across the country, kids are encouraging their peers to stay tobacco-free and demanding that tobacco companies stop marketing to them.

Thousands of youth are also taking selfies with a message for the tobacco companies, "I'm not a Replacement" and posting them on local FB pages and ‪#‎notareplacement... Read More

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Florida Youth Tobacco Survey Results Show a Sharp Decline in Youth Tobacco Use in Bradford County
by Jenna Hewett, March 10, 2015

The county level data from the 2014 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) was published and there is a lot to celebrate among Bradford County Tobacco Free Partnership members, SWAT members, and community partners who support the tobacco prevention program. 

QuitDoc first received the tobacco prevention grant in July of 2012. The FYTS was already completed for 2011-2012 at this point. This information allows us to see what progress has been made since QuitDoc received the grant in 2012.

QuitDoc has been able to impact many areas in youth prevention through the tobacco-prevention program in Bradford County. This survey was completed two years into our work in Bradford County. We are excited about the work we have been able to accomplish. Here are the numbers for comparison which show the percent of students who have used each product within the last 30 days. Among high school students we see a slight increase in smokeless tobacco use. Middle school students also had a slight increase in cigarette use. Every other category saw dramatic reductions in youth use... Read More

Middle School
2008
2014
Percent Change
Cigarettes
6.0%
6.5%
+5.5%
Cigars 
8.8%
5.0%
-43.2%
Smokeless
8.7%
4.8%
-44.8%
Any Form
16.5%
11.5%
-30.3%

High School
2010
2014
Percent Change
Cigarettes
12.9%
11.2%
-13.2%
Cigars 
15.2%
11.9%
-21.7%
Smokeless
14.3%
15.2%
+6.3%
Any Form
29.0%
27.9%
-3.8%

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Bradford Middle School Students Working Against Tobacco President Speaks at Legislative Delegation Meeting
December 11 , 2014

Senator Rob Bradley and Representative Charles Van Zant met with residents of Bradford County on December 11, 2014. The legislative delegation hearing was held at the Bradford County Courthouse. Most of the issues discussed were pertaining to health.

Officers of the Bradford Middle School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Club, President Madison Bennett and Vice-President Bailee Sheppard, were in attendance. Madison Bennett, BMS SWAT President, spoke to the legislators about the work being done in Bradford County and provided information on the local Tobacco Prevention Program.

Bradford County Legislative Delegation
From L to R: Senator Rob Bradley, Bailee Sheppard,
Madison Bennett and Representative Charles Van Zant

Madison Bennett spoke specifically about how SWAT programs in Bradford County focus on the smoke not the smoker. SWAT students believe it isn’t their place to tell someone to quit smoking but instead focus on protecting those who choose not to smoke from the health hazards of tobacco products and second-hand smoke. Madison stated that “85% of new tobacco users start between the ages of 12 and 17, before it is even legal to purchase tobacco"... Read More

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SWAT Students Educate Bradford High School Staff and Students on the Great American Smoke Out
November 21, 2014

The 39th Annual Great American Smoke Out was held on November 20, 2014. The American Cancer Society marks this day every year on the third Thursday of November by encouraging smokers to decide on that day to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting, even for one day, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life. The decision could lead to reducing cancer risk.

Great American Smoke Out

Every day nearly 4,000 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and 1,000 kids under 18 years old become daily smokers. That equals more than 1 million teens a year. Smoking in the U.S. kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined with thousands more dying from smokeless tobacco!

Bradford High School SWAT Students wanted to educate students and staff on tobacco facts and the benefits of quitting. BHS SWAT students made posters and signs with startling statistics about tobacco. These signs were strategically placed all over the campus. Great American Smoke Out information was also announced over the morning announcements to communicate information to the entire student body and staff...
Read More

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Tobacco Industry Whistle-Blower, Dr. Victor DeNoble, Visits Bradford County
September 19, 2014

On Friday, September 19, the Bradford County Tobacco Free Partnership and the Bradford County SWAT youth hosted presentations by Victor J. DeNoble, Ph.D.  at Bradford High School. Dr. DeNoble spoke to al 9th, 10th and 11th grade students in three separate presentations.

Dr. Victor DeNoble

Victor J. DeNoble, Ph.D. has been giving presentations to youth and adults for nearly two decades.  His compelling story starts when he was recruited to develop a safer cigarette for Philip Morris in the 1980’s. In his secret research laboratory, he studied nicotine’s effects on the central nervous system and was successful in developing a nicotine substitute that did not elevate the heart rate; however, attempts to publish his work were suppressed by Philip Morris. Dr. DeNoble was eventually fired, his laboratory was shuttered, and his research was seized.

In 1994, after a decade of being silenced by a secrecy agreement, he became the first whistle blower to testify before Congress and was a key witness in the federal government’s investigation into the tobacco industry’s research practices... Read More

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Members of Bradford County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Attend Regional Training in Orange Park
September 13, 2014

Bradford County Middle School SWAT President, Madison Bennett and Vice President Bailee Sheppard attended the 2014 SWAT Region 2 Meeting at the Thrasher-Horne Conference Center on the campus of Saint Johns River State College in Orange Park, Florida on Saturday, September 13, 2014.

Bradford County SWAT
Bradford County High School Officers Bailee Sheppard (L) and Madison Bennett (R)

During the meeting the SWAT officers were able to meet SWAT youth from counties across North Central Florida.  Interactive Icebreaker activities allowed the youth to open up and share with other youth that they have never met before.  Madison said “The ice-breaker was a great way to meet SWAT students from other counties in North Florida.” 

Two SWAT youth gave a presentation “Tobacco 2.0, Making Tobacco History” that covered where tobacco prevention is heading in the future and highlighted some of the most recent changes.  The presenters highlighted CVS Health’s decision to no longer stock or sell tobacco products.  Many students shared how their SWAT Clubs were thanking local CVS pharmacies for that great change... Read More

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Lawtey City Council Passes Resolution Encouraging Restrictions on the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

On June 2, 2014 Lawtey City Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution asking retailers to halt the sale of flavored tobacco products targeting children and teenagers.

The resolution is symbolic gesture to help educate and call attention to the issue, hopefully prompting stronger action at the state and national level.

As part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the United States Congress banned flavored cigarettes.  The law also granted the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate other tobacco products, and granted states and local governments the right to regulate the time, place, and manner of all tobacco products... Read More

Candy or Tobacco?

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Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation is Encouraging
Local Residential Buildings to Go Smoke-Free

Smoke-free Policies Can Protect Residents From Secondhand Smoke and Smoking-Related Fires
June 2, 2014

STARKE – Smoke-free multiunit housing, a growing trend throughout the country, is making its way to Florida. Across the state, there are more than 500 smoke-free multiunit housing properties and 73,000 smoke-free units.

Neighboring County, Marion County has had numerous facilities that have already implemented smoking-free policies. Michelle Crabtree, the Housing Manager at Heritage Oaks of Ocala, stated “the transition to Smoke Free Housing has been a true positive for Heritage Oaks of Ocala. Many of our residents who use tobacco took advantage of the free cessation programs offered by the Tobacco Free Partnership and have either quit smoking or significantly cut back. This is an added bonus since it helps improve their health! Some applicants have told me that a factor in choosing Heritage Oaks of Ocala is the fact that we are smoke free.”

“There’s a fear of alienating resident smokers, but most communities that have taken the leap consider smoke-free housing an edge over the competition and have determined that there is a market for this product’ according to Chip Tatum, the former Government Affairs Director for the Florida Apartment Association.

For property managers and landlords, smoke-free policies can have economic benefits. More than 80% of Floridians are non-smokers.  Many people who do smoke do not permit smoking in their homes.  Given these numbers, many properties have very successfully marketed their smoke-free policy as an amenity, not a restriction.   Smokefree policies can save money by eliminating the need to repair or replace carpeting, floors, fixtures, countertops or appliances damaged by burns or nicotine stains.  At the end of a lease, smoke-free units require less turnover time due to fewer preparation and repainting needs.

In one Florida survey of 421 managers of smoke-free properties, 99.5 percent of the managers agreed that smoke-free policies do not hurt occupancy and 30.1 percent believed that they increased occupancy... Read More

CDC Infographic

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Bradford High School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Club Provides Signs to Bradford High School in Honor of World No Tobacco Day

On May 29, 2014 the Bradford High School (BHS) SWAT club participated in a ceremony to present signage to the BHS Administration.

BHS SWAT President Mackenzie Gault spoke to students and administration at the ceremony at Bradford High School. The Bradford County School District has made amazing strides in school policies regarding tobacco. The school district now has all 12 comprehensive policies.

The BHS SWAT club made it their goal to show their appreciation and to ensure that students, staff and visitors were mindful   and attentive to the 100% tobacco free campus policies. The signage was placed on the Bradford High School Campus, along with the athletic fields... Read More

SWAT presenting BHS signs

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Florida Teens Win Top Awards Among
Youth Advocates Working Against Tobacco

Two Florida High School Students Were Honored in the Nation’s Capital
May 22 , 2014

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Magi Linscott, a Santa Rosa County high school student and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) youth advocate, was named the National Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. This is the highest award among the country’s top youth advocates working against tobacco.

Chandler Ash from Gilchrist County was named the Southern Region Youth Advocate of the Year. Both Florida teens were honored in Washington, D.C., on May 15 along with three other U.S. regional winners and a group winner. More than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders attended the 18th annual gala to recognize these young leaders.

The Youth Advocates of the Year Awards honor outstanding young people who are among today's most effective leaders in tobacco control. These youth have fought hard to protect their generation from the dangers of tobacco by promoting tobacco prevention legislation, exposing tobacco marketing to kids, and keeping their peers from using tobacco... Read More

Florida Youth Advocates of the Year

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Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County Recognizes Advisory Council Members and SWAT Leadership

On May 15, 2014 seventeen members of the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Bradford County had their last meeting of the fiscal year. This meeting was dedicated to the advisory council members and the SWAT leadership that have worked so incredibly hard over the last twelve months.

The 2013-2014 TFP Advisory Council consisted of Tiffany Dougherty, Cheryl Canova, Candace Osteen, Mackenzie Dougherty and Madison Bennett... Read More

McKenzie GaultElder
BHS SWAT President McKenzie Gault (L);
BHS SWAT Vice-President Carson Elder (R)

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Bradford County Teens Tell Big Tobacco:
We are Not “Replacements”
March 18 , 2014

The tobacco industry is losing customers. Not only are more smokers quitting, every day, an estimated 1,315 people in the United States die because of smoking. 

In response, the tobacco industry targets a new generation of potential nicotine addicts, which they call “replacement smokers.” A 1984 internal document from R.J. Reynolds’, the makers of Camel, stated: “Younger adult smokers are the only source of replacement smokers… If younger adults turn away from smoking, the industry must decline, just as a population which does not give birth will eventually dwindle.”

On Kick Butts Day, Bradford County’s Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Clubs spoke up and took action to let Big Tobacco know they will be not replacements. Kick Butts Day, which this year was celebrated on March 19, is the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids national day of activism that empowers youth to fight back against Big Tobacco.

The Bradford High School (BHS) SWAT club planned a Kick Butts Day community activity.
BHS SWAT youth had an informational booth set-up at the Bradford County Fair. BHS SWAT Students reached thousands of Bradford County Residents and visitors about the Not being a replacement to tobacco companies. The BHS SWAT club set up a fortune teller booth and told visitors of the booth how tobacco use could impact their future... Read More

Bradford County Fair
Carson Elder, Bradford County High School SWAT Vice-President, at the Bradford County Fair

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The Starke Campuses of Santa Fe College Adopt New Smoke-Free Policies, Designated Smoking Areas
January, 2014

The three Santa Fe College campuses in Starke, Florida have adopted new designated areas on each campus for tobacco-use.

Santa Fe's Andrews Center in Starke provides a quality education for those in Bradford and nearby counties. Andrews Center consists of three buildings, including the historic Starke courthouse and two additional educational buildings. The center provides a dual enrollment program for Bradford County High School students to earn college credit while still in high school, allowing them to jump-start their college education.

Andrews Center

Designated smoking areas protect students from second hand smoke and can reduce absenteeism due to smoking-related illness.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County assisted Santa Fe College in this important decision by purchasing signage and poles for each of the campuses...
Read More

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Bradford County Students Working Against Tobacco Speak at Legislative Delegation
November 18, 2013

Senator Rob Bradley and Representative Charles Van Zant met with residents of Bradford County on November 18, 2013. The legislative delegation hearing was held at the Bradford County Courthouse. Most of the issues discussed were pertaining to health.

Officers of the Bradford Middle School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Club, President Madison Bennett and Vice-President Bailee Sheppard, spoke to their legislators about their work in Bradford County and provided information on the local Tobacco Prevention Program.

Bradford County Delegation
From L to R: Bailee Sheppard, Senator Rob Bradley, Madison Bennett and Representative Charles Van Zant

Bailee Sheppard spoke first and talked about the goals of the SWAT program. She shared on how the SWAT program in Bradford County works in preventing the initiation of tobacco use among youth and limiting their exposure to second-hand smoke. Sheppard explained that they complete these tasks by educating and advocating changes in policies... Read More

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Bradford County Students Working Against Tobacco Host a SmokeScreeners Event at the Florida Twin Theatre
November 18, 2013

On November 18, 2013 the SWAT Clubs of Bradford Middle School and Bradford High School held a Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) recruitment activity at the Florida Twin Theatre in Starke, Florida. The SWAT Clubs wanted to complete a SmokeScreeners activity as part of an effort to recruit more members. This outreach program is designed to show how the continued use of smoking in movies aimed at children between 12 and 17 years of age influences those children to start smoking.

The event was open to any Bradford Middle or Bradford High School student. Students were able to attend for a free screening of "Thor: The Dark World.”

The Florida Twin Theater

This SmokeScreeners activity was very successful! One-hundred students attended to participate in the SmokeScreeners Survey... Read More

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Frequently-Asked Questions About E-Cigarettes
By Tracy DeCubellis, M.S., Gilchrist County Tobacco Prevention Specialist
September 20, 2013

Recently, many people have come to me with questions about an emerging product on the market called e-cigarettes.  There has been a lot of confusion about e-cigarettes, and most people have limited information gathered from advertisements or word of mouth from friends. I have put together the most frequently asked questions about e-cigarettes, along with the answers, to inform communities with currently updated information. 

What is an e-cigarette?
An e-cigarette is a battery-powered nicotine delivery device that contains a cartridge filled with what the manufacturers often call “liquid”.  This “liquid” often includes candy flavoring, nicotine, and chemicals to create a “vapor”.  Most e-cigarette companies offer cartridges of differing nicotine levels, although no testing has been conducted to verify those claims... Read More

E-Cigarette Components

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Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County Upcoming Events    
September 17, 2013

The new fiscal year has begun and the Tobacco Free Partnership is excited about what is to come! The TFP of Bradford County works in numerous different ways to educate and impact Bradford County on tobacco-related issues.

The Tobacco ree Partnership of Bradford County will be participating in the Cystic Fibrosis “Great Strides Walk” in Starke on September 28, 2013. The Partnership will be a “Friend of the Foundation” Sponsor for the event and will be providing information on second-hand smoke and its impact on youth with chronic lung diseases, including the benefits of Smoke-Free Housing... Read More

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Bradford High SWAT Students Participate in Regional Training    
September 14, 2013

ORANGE PARK, FL - On September 14, 2013 a total of thirty-five Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) members attended a regional SWAT Training. Bradford County was represented by Mackenzie Gault and McKenzie Dougherty. Mackenzie Gault is a Senior at Bradford High School and McKenzie Dougherty is a Freshman at Bradford High School.

Gault and Dougherty
From L to R: Mackenzie Gault and McKenzie Dougherty

The training was held at St. Johns County River College in Orange Park, Florida. 21 counties in the state of Florida were represented at the meeting... Read More

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Bradford County "SWAT" Youth Take Aim at Tobacco Industry’s Smoke-in-Mirrors Tactics
July 16, 2013

ORANGE PARK -- Several youth from Bradford County High School have taken the initiative to actively engage their local state senator, Rob Bradley, in a David and Goliath battle of biblical proportions. 

The tobacco industry spends over $500 MILLION every year in Florida on advertising alone – that’s over half a BILLION dollars.  Bradford County’s SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) program have limited resources yet time and truth on their side in combating industry influence in their community and now even throughout the state.

This past legislative session freshman Sen. Rob Bradley sponsored a bill - SB 258 - that would restore local control to cities and counties who have been restricted by the state in establishing their own smoke-free parks, playgrounds, and other recreational outdoor areas.  The same law that restricts smoking indoors, the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act, ironically does not allow local communities to decide what’s best for their outdoor public areas even though the law has the word “indoor” in its title.  Local communities have the power to decide where and what venue one can or cannot consume alcoholic beverages however they do not share the same right to designate a park or playground to be a breathe easy zone or have a smoke-free area.   This seems counterintuitive as tobacco kills more people than alcohol and many other things combined yet still holds more social norm than other substances... Read More

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Starke City Council Passes Resolution Encouraging Restrictions on the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

On June 18, 2013 Starke City Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution asking retailers to halt the sale of flavored tobacco products targeting children and teenagers.

The resolution is symbolic gesture to help educate and call attention to the issue, hopefully prompting stronger action at the state and national level.

As part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the United States Congress banned flavored cigarettes.  The law also granted the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate other tobacco products, and granted states and local governments the right to regulate the time, place, and manner of all tobacco products... Read More

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SWAT Students from North Florida and Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation Produce a Short Film on the Issue of Flavored Tobacco Products that Target Youth
April 24, 2014

Students from six counties in North Central Florida joined forces to write and produce "Who is the Target", a short film that focuses on the use of flavored products as a youth marketing strategy by tobacco companies.

The Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation helped produce the film, setting up a temporary studio at their office in Ocala, Florida. The staff converted a spare office by suspending a simple blue screen from the ceiling. "It is the same technique used by your local weatherman," said Dr. Barry Hummel, who directed the film. "It allows us to put graphic information behind the students during the editing process to reinforce each point they are trying to make."

Fourteen students from Alachua, Clay, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy, and Marion Counties were asked to contribute facts and information on the issue of flavored tobacco products that are not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The students then recorded the information at the make-shift studio... Read More

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Bradford County Tobacco Prevention Specialist Highlights Local Tobacco Prevention Efforts at Recent Kiwanis Club Meeting
March 12, 2013

Jenna Hewett, the Tobacco Prevention Specialist for Bradford County, spoke to the Kiwanis Club members on March 12, 2013, at their regularly scheduled weekly meeting.

Mrs. Hewett was able to present and spoke on the current Community-Based Tobacco Prevention Program.  She was able to share information on the positive effects that Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation has had on the local community since receiving the tobacco prevention grant in July of 2012... Read More

Hewett at Kiwanis Club

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Local SWAT Youth and Tobacco Prevention Specialist Speak at Bradford County Legislative Delegation Hearing
December 12, 2012

The Bradford County Legislative Delegation Meeting was held on December 12, 2012 at the Bradford County Courthouse.

The Bradford County Tobacco Prevention Specialist, Jenna Hewett was in attendance with Bradford High School (BHS) Students Working Against Tobacco President, Marrissa Greenwell... Read More

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Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County Celebrates the
2012 Great American Smokeout

The Tobacco-Free Partnership of Bradford County met on November 15, 2012 at the Western Steer Steakhouse in Starke, Florida. The meeting coincided with the 37th Annual Great American Smokeout, a day set aside to encourage people to quit tobacco use for just one day.  We were very excited and pleased with all of the new attendees... Read More

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Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation Awarded Tobacco Prevention Grant for Bradford County

The Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation has been awarded a grant from the State of Florida Department of Health to provide tobacco awareness and prevention programs throughout Bradford County.  The programs are designed to reduce the number of teenagers who start smoking each year, to decrease the number of tobacco related deaths, and to provide information on appropriate methods to quit smoking... Read More