News and Events

Rap Musician Logic Joins Truth’s #FinishIt Campaign
By Joseph O'Hern, Columbia County Community Health Advocate
August 27, 2017

In a night packed with buzzed about performances, there was one that stood out above the crowd. Toward the end of the show, upcoming rapper Logic, along with Alessia Cara and new artist Khalid, took to the MTV Video Music Awards stage for a powerful performance of their single, “1-800-273-8255.” The song, which also happens to be the number for the National Suicide Hotline, has been hailed as an emotionally powerful anthem for those with mental health issues.

But for Logic, it doesn’t stop at a hit song. As a former tobacco user, he has now taken his platform and teamed up with Truth and the #FinishIt campaign. Following the night’s performance was a one-minute commercial featuring Logic and the cold hard facts on how Big Tobacco has specifically targeted those with mental health and substance abuse issues.

It’s a little known (yet sad) fact that people with mental health or substance abuse issues account for 40% of the cigarettes sold in the U.S. That adds up to about $37 billion in Big Tobacco’s pockets. “It’s essentially a big bully preying on the weak,” states Logic in Truth’s commercial. Read More

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Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia County appoints 2017-2018 Advisory Council
August 23, 2017

Lake City, FL — The Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia 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 Columbia County.


From L to Right:
Wendy Bragdon, Shelli Shoup, Van Brown, Melody McRannolds, Hunter Shoup, and Cross Neely

This year’s advisory council members include Wendy Bragdon of Columbia County Health Department, Shelli Shoup of Columbia High School, Van Brown of the Early Learning Coalition of Florida’s Gateway, Melody McRannolds of Suwannee River AHEC, Hunter Shoup of Students Working Against Tobacco (Columbia High School) and Cross Neeley of Students Working Against Tobacco (Columbia High School).

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia 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 Columbia 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

To learn more about the partnership or to get involved, visit www.TFP-Columbia.org or email info@TFP-Columbia.org.

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Students Working Against Tobaco Program (SWAT) Heads Overseas!
June 2, 2017

The Columbia High School SWAT Organization is excited to extend their outreach program to overseas. 

The SWAT members strongly believe that once a Tiger, always a Tiger and they want to make sure they do their part in making sure this message is loud and clear to their alumni.  Columbia High School’s SWAT club recently started “Tiger Take Care” Packages to send necessities and treats to CHS alumni that are deployed.  The Tigers hope to make this an ongoing project and join with the community and other school organizations so that they can send packages to more Tiger Soldiers soon.  
SWAT Member SK Lewis
 
Read More      

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City of Lake City Recognizes Tobacco Free Florida Week
May 1, 2017

On May 1st, the City Council of Lake City recognized May 7th- 13th as “Tobacco Free Florida Week.” This year’s theme, The Cost of Smoking, focused on revealing the hard truth on the deadly cost of tobacco use. “Make no doubt about it that smoking cigarettes is a costly addiction. Not only does it costs smokers their health, but also their money and time with friends and family.” explained Joseph O’Hern, Columbia County Community Health Advocate.

But the cost of smoking can also have an impact on our state and local communities as well. To date the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida program saved the state $3.2 billion in health care costs in 2015 and annual smoking related health care costs in Florida decreased 15 percent from 2006 to 2015 as a result of fewer adults smoking. Not only did the Tobacco Free Partnership work to create awareness and educate the community on “The Cost of Smoking” but local Students Working Against Tobacco clubs also took part by educating their peers as well as school district faculty and staff.  

   

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The Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia County and Local Students Working Against Tobaco are raising awareness during “Through with Chew Week”
February 10, 2017

Lake City, Fla. – The Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia 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. 5.4 percent of youth ages 11-17 in Columbia 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 from Fort White Middle School took it to the halls of their own school to better educate their peers on the dangers of smokeless tobacco. 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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Columbia High School SWAT Spreads Christmas Cheer
December 8, 2016

This December, SWAT members of Columbia High School joined with students from other clubs on campus to bring Christmas cheer to elementary students who might not have had a very Merry Christmas.

 

SWAT members sponsored a child for the Columbia High Christmas party and made sure she had everything on her Christmas list: from bubble gum flavored lollipops to clothes, shoes, Barbie and much more! The students made sure she had a Christmas to remember! 

SWAT members attended the Christmas party with their child was able to meet Santa, sing Christmas Carols, play games, and meet special guest characters from kids’ storybooks.  Our very own SWAT President, Cross Neeley, even doubled as one of Santa's helpers and appeared as Santa Claus!

 

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2016 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) Results Show Progress in Columbia County
December 1, 2016

We are excited to announce the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey Results for Columbia County, as well as the statewide data for 2016 is in! This is something the Tobacco Free Partnership and SWAT Students in Columbia County look forward to every other year as it is great information and data that can be shared with our local communities!

The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) was administered in the Spring of 2016. A total of 753 public high schools and middle schools in the 67 Florida counties participated in the FYTS. There were 69,640 students who participated in the 2016 FYTS; 33,558 at the high school level and 36,082 at the middle school level. This data is way for public health professionals, students, teachers, parents, and the public to explore data pertaining to youth tobacco use.

In Columbia County, we are happy to announce a decrease in the percentage of youth who have tried cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco. In fact, in youth ages 11-17 there was a 7.7% drop in those that have tried cigarettes, 5.1% drop in those that have tried cigars and a 1.4% drop in those that have tried smokeless tobacco.

Additionally, we see similar drops in the percentage of youth who currently use cigarettes (2.8% decrease), cigars (1.8% decrease) and smokeless (0.5% decrease). For years, tobacco prevention has been at the forefront of providing education and information to decrease the use of tobacco in the Country, State of Florida and in Columbia County. It seems the work continues to pay off as we have seen a decrease in cigarettes, cigars and smokeless for several years now.

However, the raging epidemic of electronic cigarettes, hookah and vaping that Big Tobacco has created is making a mess of the hard work that we have done to minimize tobacco use in this country. We are seeing these effects nationwide, statewide and throughout Columbia County. Read More

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Tobacco Free Florida and Tobacco free Partnership of Columbia County Encourage Tobacco Users to Quit on the Great American Smokeout on November 17, 2016
November 11, 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 Columbia 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 Columbia 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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Columbia County SWAT Students “Leave Their Mark” at Regional SWAT Training
November 5, 2016

Hurricane Matthew may have cancelled the originally scheduled Regional SWAT Retreat, but it didn’t dampen spirits during the make-up meeting held on November 5, 2016 in Palatka, Florida. Draco Thompson and Nolan Williams two of our top students from Lake City Middle School SWAT, attended to represent the SWAT Chapter of Columbia County. The morning was kicked off with interactive icebreaker activities to introduce themselves to other region 2 SWAT members and to get to know them for the remaining of the day filled with group activities.

One of the first topics of discussion at the training was time management. It allowed the SWAT members time to reflect on how to better manage their time and and included an exercise to figure out where most of their time was being spent. This was an excellent tool for them to use in their personal lives, but also a unique way to look at their time management of SWAT events, meeting etc. Other sessions focused on networking, team building, and more!

Another large portion of the meeting was spent hearing from prospective YAB (youth advocacy board) candidates. “It’s encouraging to see young leaders stand up for a cause they believe in and want to lead. The average age Big Tobacco targets is 14 so it only makes sense our youth are the the ones leading the charge,” Said Joseph O’Hern, Community Health Advocate and SWAT Coordinator for Columbia County. “I think it has definitely encouraged Draco and Nolan to stand out, speak up and maybe even run for any YAB vacancies next year!”

 

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Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia County appoints 2016-2017 Advisory Council
August 26, 2016

Lake City, FL — The Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia 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 Columbia County.

This year’s advisory council members include (from L to R) Wendy Bragdon of Columbia County Health Department, Stephanie Hosch of Lake City Middle School, Lindsey Roberts of American Cancer Society, Nolan Williams of Students Working Against Tobacco (Lake City Middle School) and Cross Neeley of Students Working Against Tobacco (Columbia High School).

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia 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 Columbia 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

To learn more about the partnership or to get involved, visit www.TFP-Columbia.org or email info@TFP-Columbia.org.

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Tobacco Free Partnership Kicks Off New Year
August 23, 2016

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia County is trying something new this year and is switching to a quarterly meeting with hopes to increase attendance and collaboration among Partners.

The first meeting this quarter was held on August 23, 2016 at Lake Shore Hospital Authority and laid the groundwork for a busy year. Joseph O’Hern the Columbia County Tobacco Prevention Specialist commented, “Last year was all about building relationships in the community. We met a lot of great people and worked to lay the foundation for a successful program. This year we hope to build on that.”

The Partnership has a lot lined up this year with the Snow Day 5k, Olustee Festival, Relay for Life, community health fairs and more! “We really want to ramp up our ‘boots on the ground’ efforts this year and start recruiting and empowering new partners.” At a recent Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida workshop training it was stressed the importance of being more productive. It’s not only about quantity, rather the quality of the members that you have at your table. “Tobacco prevention is an issue that is in one way or another connected to each of us. I want to bring to the people who are passionate about it and want to join the fight,” added O’Hern. Read More

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Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) in Columbia County Reflect on an Impactful Year
June 6, 2016

After another successful school year has winded down we asked local Students Working Against Tobacco club members to reflect on the school year, what they had accomplished and the impact they had. Students from Lake City Middle School and FT. White Middle School shared their thoughts below:

We have participated in many activities this year in school and out of school. We typically meet on Friday mornings and discuss tobacco related topics. We make posters for awareness around our school, we led Red Ribbon Week, and we do hands-on activities to understand the negative effects of tobacco. We also have participated in SWAT activities in the community. Some of these include marching in parades and going to city council meetings. Towards the middle of the year, we received a proclamation for Through with the Chew Week. A few months after that, we received another proclamation at a County Commissioner’s Board meeting for Tobacco Free Florida Week. My experience as a SWAT member has been a lot of fun and I cannot wait to do more to make Columbia County tobacco free.   

Nolan Williams
Lake City Middle School’s SWAT

 

Read More

   
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Lake City Middle School SWAT and Tobacco Free Partnership Receive Tobacco Free Florida Week Proclamation
May 5, 2016

On May 5th, the Columbia County Board of County Commissioners recognized May 8th- 14th as “Tobacco Free Florida Week.” This year’s theme, Secondhand Smoke Exposed, focused on dispelling the common myth that secondhand smoke is harmless. The fact is that breathing even small amounts of secondhand smoke can be dangerous. Secondhand smoke, has hundreds of toxic chemicals including about 70 that are known to cause cancer. Secondhand smoke greatly increases the risk of lung cancer, which is Florida’s number-one cancer killer. Each year, primarily due to secondhand smoke exposure, an estimated 7,300 non-smoking Americans die of lung cancer.


From L to R: Commissioner Scarlet Frisina , SWAT Student Nolan Williams,
Partnership Member/SWAT Advisor Stephanie Hosch

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) members from Lake City Middle School were present to not only receive the Proclamation observing the week but took the opportunity to educate local decision makers on the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Read More

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Fort White Middle School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Share Information on the Risks of Smokeless Tobacco
February 18, 2016

During “Through With Chew Week”, SWAT members from Fort White Middle School took it to the classrooms to directly educate their peers on smokeless tobacco.


Back Row, from L to R: Mya Harvell, Evan Johnson, and Elizabeth DePasquale-Schweitzer;  Front row, from L to R:  Jacovya Major and Lana Tedesco

Here’s what SWAT member Sydnee Kelly said about her experience.

"We gave presentations about smokeless tobacco during Through With Chew Week.  At the end of January, we had two short SWAT meetings to organize and practice in our groups what we were going to say to the homeroom classes.  We wrote our scripts so everyone would know exactly what to say and divided into partners. We presented facts and advertising awareness to grades six through eight about the dangers that smokeless tobacco can cause. Everyone had to wear their SWAT shirts, so we could match and represent our club. The students, including me, enjoyed our meetings and the presentations. Several of our teachers told our sponsor that we did a great job."

"I was in a group with my best friend, Payton Gainey. We went to two eighth grade classrooms. At first, I was nervous to go to a higher grade level classroom, but I was with one of my best friends and I knew some of the people in the classes, so I was fine then. I felt good that I educated others on smokeless tobacco and also learned some new facts about it myself. We hope we can do more things like this in the future."

“Through With Chew Week" is a public awareness campaign that was created to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people and help combat this deadly addiction. This wek, “Through With Chew Week” took place during the week of February 14-20.

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Lake City Middle School Students Working Against Tobacco Receive Through With Chew Week Proclamation
February 16, 2016

On February 16th, the City of Lake City recognized Feb 14th-20th as “Through With Chew Week.”

Through With Chew Week is a public awareness campaign that was created to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people and help combat this deadly addiction. Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) members from Lake City Middle School were present to not only receive the Proclamation observing the week but they took the opportunity to educate local decision makers on the dangers of smokeless tobacco.

SWAT members Ora Darr and Nolan WIlliams took to the podium to educate decision makers on smokeless tobacco as well as their recent SWAT activities. Read More

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Smokeless Tobacco Use Remains High in Columbia County
QuitDoc Foundation and Tobacco Free Florida are raising awareness during “Through with Chew Week”
February 3, 2016

LAKE CITY, 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, the Students Working Against Tobacco clubs at Ft. White High School, Ft. White Middle School, Lake City Middle School, and Richardson Middle School are ramping up efforts to better educate students, faculty and staff on the harms of smokeless tobacco. Students are creating large displays, giving presentations to peers and much more. The Tobacco Free Partnership and SWAT will also be receiving a proclamation from the City of Lake City on February 16th recognizing the week.

Although youth cigarette smoking rates in Florida are at an all-time low, 8.7% percent of high school students in Columbia County reported current use of smokeless tobacco products in 2014 according to the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey. This is higher than 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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The Hollywood Review
December 10, 2015

Tyra Knows The “Truth”

Make no mistake about it; Tyra Banks is one of the most successful, powerful, and influential supermodels in the world. Whatever she touches turns to gold, which might be a good thing as Banks has recently partnered with the Truth Campaign to inspire women to stop smoking. The cause is personal one to Tyra as she lost her grandmother to a battle with lung cancer. Tyra Beauty (Banks makeup company) and Truth have teamed up for the “Smoke Your Eyes, Not Cigarettes” campaign that features a holiday make up kit called the “Sexy Smokeshow.” In the announcement for the collaboration Tyra stated, “During my modeling career, never did I once light up a cigarette.” She went on to say, “There was enough ‘smoke’ around my eyes, I didn’t need any in my lungs.”

Tyra Banks

 

Celebrity Wedding Ceremony Goes Up In Smoke?

Mary-Kate Olsen stole your heart when she made her TV debut sharing the role of Michelle Tanner on the hit 90’s show “Full House.” She and her twin sister Ashley launched an incredibly lucrative business after that. Movies, music, make up, clothes, fragrances and much more helped make the Olsen twins net worth a reported $300 million dollars. So you would think when one of them got married they’d have the best caterer in the business? You’d expect lavish spreads, the finest cuisines and much more right? Wrong.  When Mary Kate married French banker Olivier Sarkozy in November, Page Six reported the guest were treated to “bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes, and everyone smoked the whole night.” If cigarettes were the catering I wonder if the wedding favor was emphysema? Read More  
Mary Kate Olsen

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Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia County appoints 2015-2016 Advisory Council
October 26, 2015

LAKE CITY, FL — The Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia County has appointed its 2015-2016 Advisory Council.  The Advisory Council members assume a leadership role in regard to tobacco control and advocacy, education, and prevention and policy change in Columbia County.

TFP Advisory Council

This year’s advisory council members include Wendy Bragdon of Columbia County Health Department, Stephanie Hosch of Lake City Middle School, Pastor Dustin Busscher of Christ Central, Lindsey Greenockle of American Cancer Society, Raylen Farres of Students Woring Against Tobacco and Kyler Mclean of Students Working Against Tobacco.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia 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 Columbia 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

To learn more about the partnership or to get involved, visit www.TFP-Columbia.org or email info@TFP-Columbia.org.

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Students Working Against Tobacco Club Participates in Columbia High School Homecoming Parade
October 16, 2015

LAKE CITY, FL — Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) youth from Lake City Middle School participated in the Columbia High School homecoming parade this year. They had a wonderful time representing their school as well as the SWAT program, and took advantage of the opportunity to educate their community on the dangers of tobacco use.

LCMS SWAT

After the event, a few of those students took a moment to reflect on their parade experience…

“SWAT impacted the youth as we walked in the parade. As I was passing by, I overheard a conversation between a child (about 6 or 7) and an adult. The child asked if a cigarette was tobacco. The adult said yes and the child asked, ‘Are you going to die?’ I watched as the adult dropped the cigarette and stepped on it.” Ora Daar, 8th grade

Read More

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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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Carrie Underwood's Controversial "Smoke Break"
Joey O'Hern, Columbia County Community Health Advocate
September 9, 2015

Hailing from Checotah, Oklahoma it didn’t take long for the judging panel of American Idol to realize that Carrie Underwood had a big voice and an even bigger shot at global superstardom. Coasting through the competition, never finding herself in jeopardy of being eliminated, Underwood went on to win the hearts of America during season 4 of the hit reality show. By doing so she eventually won the title and a record contract. Just ten years later after numerous sold out tours, 7 Grammy Awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards and 13 number 1 singles it’s safe to say Carrie Underwood has a career new artists dream about.

As her professional life became one of legend, her personal life began to flourish as well. After meeting hockey player Mike Fisher after one of her concerts in 2008 the couple hit it off and were engaged in 2009 and finally wed in the Summer of 2010. Fast-forward to Labor Day 2014, Underwood took to her social media to announce to the world that she and her husband were expecting their first child together and eventually welcomed baby Isaiah into the world on February 27, 2015.

Though the industry seemed happy for her success both professional and personal the biggest remaining question was: how long would Carrie take off to focus on family and how long could her career hold on during an indefinite hiatus? Hoping to hold fans over during her time away being a mom Underwood released “Greatest Hits: Decade #1.” The albums lead single “Something In The Water” became a massive hit for Underwood and ended up winning her yet another Grammy Award.

Though “Greatest Hits” gave fans of the country superstar a taste of new music it wasn’t a new album. In fact her last all original album was released 3 years ago. It may not seem like a long time but for an artist whose previous work was known to hit the charts back-to-back it is an eternity.  Needless to say fans were quite welcoming when Carrie Underwood took to social media to announce her latest single titled, “Smoke Break” off her upcoming album, surprising music fans and industry people with the fact she was back... Read More

Carrie Underwood - Smoke Break

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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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QuitDoc Foundation Awarded Tobacco Prevention Grant for Columbia County
July 1, 2015

QuitDoc Foundation has been awarded a grant from the State of Florida Department of Health to provide tobacco awareness and prevention programs throughout Columbia 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 final piece!

“Tobacco use is the single biggest public health problem in the United States,” reports Dr. Barry Hummel, a Pediatrician who co-founded the non-profit foundation.  “We lose over 400,000 people every year to diseases caused by tobacco.  Sadly, they are replaced by over one million children and teenagers who are lured into smoking by the predatory marketing practices of the Tobacco Industry.” Read More