News and Events

Sandblast at the Beach: Students Working Against Tobacco Host Their Annual Event!
April 14, 2013

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) and Pinellas County hosted the annual Sandblast event “Treasure Island” on St. Petersburg Municipal Beach on April 14th, 2013.  The purpose of this event was to coordinate youth advocacy efforts with 15 SWAT county chapters of SWAT with the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida.  Two of Highlands County’s SWAT members, Tatiana Matos and Iesha Spencer, attended the event this year.

Tatiana and Iesha

The students created and manned a Pledge Booth, where participants attending the event drew outlines of their hands and pledged not to use tobacco products by writing five reasons inside the outline.  Amongst brightly colored tents and large blow up slides, the Gulf of Mexico and the stretch of sandy white beaches provided a perfect backdrop for SWAT students as they educated over 400 middle school-aged youth with anti-tobacco messages.

Tobacco Free Pledges

SWAT youth also gained valuable experience and training in event planning as they had to come up with booth ideas, prizes, and educational materials. The students also received hands on training in the areas of Campaign Planning and Media Advocacy and were able to use that new found knowledge very effectively.
Nearly 1200 Americans die prematurely every day from a tobacco related illness, including 88 Floridians.   Preventing tobacco use through advocacy and education is pivotal in reducing this number.

For more information on the Students Working Against Tobacco in Florida, visit web page at, or by visiting Tobacco Free Florida.