News and Events

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County Wraps Up Another Successful Year!
June 10 , 2015

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County held its final meeting for the fiscal year in May and has so much to look forward to with the new fiscal year right around the corner. 

The Partnership currently has 17 members and meets once per quarter, however, that will soon be changing.  Partnership members have decided to add additional meetings to the calendar and meet every month, rather than quarterly. “I think this will benefit the partnership in many ways,” says Amanda John, Tobacco Prevention Specialist. "Not only will it increase exposure in the community, but it will also increase participation and membership, something the Partnership needs more of!” This new schedule will begin in August with the meetings being the second Wednesday of every month.

During the past year the Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County has been very busy promoting tobacco-free initiatives in the community. There have been numerous presentations to various organizations on Point of Sale Advertising, Flavored Tobacco, the K-12 Tobacco Control Model, Smoke Free Multi Unit Housing and Employee Cessation.
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Perhaps the greatest accomplishment this fiscal year was when Fair Havens Village, a multi-unit housing property, not only made their properties smoke free/vape free, they also included in their policy that they will no longer allow smokers to live in their facility. This becomes effective July 1, 2015. The Partnership provided policy language samples and smoke-free signage to Fair Havens Village in order to help them out during this process.  “This was so exciting for me, said Amanda John, and definitely a learning experience. I am now more confident than ever about this policy area and I am looking forward to changing policies for other housing properties in Highlands County.”

Another big accomplishment this fiscal year was in the Employer Cessation goal area. An employer interview was conducted with Valentine Pool Service in Quarter 2, and after multiple different meetings and discussions the employer moved to 100% Tobacco Free Grounds policy.  This was a big deal because prior to the policy the employees were smoking in company vehicles and also on customer property. When asked about her thoughts on how employees will react to her policy change, “My employees may not be very happy with me at first, but I hope this change will spark their interest and push them towards a healthier lifestyle,” said Denise John, Owner of Valentine Pool Service.

The Partnership is wrapping up its final quarter for this fiscal year and has high hopes for an even more successful year coming up. If you would like more information about the Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County you may contact Amanda John, Tobacco Prevention Specialist, at
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