News and Events

Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County Shares Information on Vaping During Tobacco Free Florida Week
April 28, 2019

Every year, Tobacco Free Florida Week aims to spotlight the importance of tobacco control in our state – whether it’s helping adults quit tobacco, preventing youth initiation, or protecting Floridians from secondhand smoke. This year, The Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida, The Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County and other tobacco prevention experts are directing their attention to e-cigarette use (aka vaping) among youth. Youth Vaping has increased dramatically across the country, including Florida and even in Highlands County.

With the vaping trend continuously rising in schools across Highlands County, the Tobacco Free Partnership and SWAT youth wanted to showcase Tobacco Free Florida Week by flooding youth and adults with information on the dangers of electronic cigarettes and vaping. Several schools participated by doing daily announcements on the popular Juul, hanging infographics and making sure their students were given the facts. SWAT youth also created their own signs to hang around campus to educate their peers on the misconceptions they may have.

In recent months, the FDA and the U.S. Surgeon General have issued statements and advisories calling youth vaping a nationwide epidemic.

In 2018, about 25 percent of Florida high school students reported current use of electronic vaping—a 58 percent increase compared to 2017. The FDA has stated that flavors play an important role in driving the youth appeal, thus new findings show that one in four Florida high school students are vaping.

“We have worked so hard to combat tobacco use for years, only to be hit with the electronic cigarette epidemic.” Said Amanda John, Community Health Advocate. “We will continue to work towards a healthier community by increasing education, pushing for stricter regulation and celebrating tobacco prevention holidays such as Tobacco Free Florida Week.”

Residents in Highlands County can access Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program for free tools and services to help them quit. More than 188,000 Floridians have successfully quit tobacco using one of these free services. For more information on quitting, please visit  tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway or visit http://www.tfp-highlands.org/ for other local tobacco initiatives and information.