News and Events

Highlands County’s Tobacco Prevention Program Identifies New Goal Areas
September 1, 2015

As the 2015-2016 fiscal year begins, the tobacco prevention program in Highlands County has identified their new goal areas to promote tobacco free social norms in the community.

QuitDoc Foundation was awarded a grant in 2012 by the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida to provide tobacco prevention programs in Highlands County.  For the past 4 years, these programs have included youth prevention, such as the Highlands County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Chapter, tobacco free workplaces, smoke-free multi-unit housing, and measures to counteract marketing of candy flavored tobacco products and retail advertising.  QuitDoc Foundation also facilitates the Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County, which includes partners and stakeholders in the community.

This year marks the beginning of a new fiscal year and new areas of focus for the tobacco free program.  The program has partnered with Counter Tools, a non-profit provider of proprietary software tools, training, and technical assistance to facilitate policy changes affecting tobacco marketing in the retail environment.  This partnership will allow Highlands County to become better trained in the point of sale area. 

The Highlands County program will also focus on tobacco free worksites, growing on previous successes, and potentially securing several more.  Assistance will also be provided to housing properties with connected units, such as apartment complexes and retirement homes, in efforts to go tobacco free.


Another new area of focus this year is smokeless tobacco, including smokeless use at public places, events, and youth sports leagues.  The goal is to reduce youth use of smokeless tobacco throughout Highlands County, a leading cause of oral cancers, gum disease, and tooth decay.

SWAT Clubs continue to thrive in Highlands County, with active clubs at each middle school. A big success this quarter was adding 3 additional SWAT clubs in Highlands County at the 3 public high schools, Avon Park High, Lake Placid High and Sebring High. Club members have already begun the year’s activities, with club recruitment activities held on campus. 

For more information on the tobacco free program in Highlands County, visit or call 863-441-5101.