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Local Students Working Against Tobacco Members Share Information at the Highlands County Fair
February 28, 2024

In February 2024, the Highlands County SWAT Chapter enthusiastically participated in the annual Highlands County Fair, an eight-day event that attracted community members, business leaders, youth, and parents from all corners of the county. Amidst the fair's diverse attractions, including rides, exhibits, and livestock shows, the SWAT Chapter took center stage to raise awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure, the vaping epidemic, and the importance of tobacco-free environments.

Embracing a mad scientist theme for their booth, the SWAT youth creatively conveyed the message of the "Not a Lab Rat Campaign." Dressed in lab coats and equipped with goggles, beakers, and dry ice, they effectively demonstrated how Big Tobacco uses tobacco/nicotine users as experimental subjects.

The timing of the fair coincided with the lead-up to "Through With Chew Week," prompting the SWAT Clubs to kick off celebrations early. They distributed educational materials provided by the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida, including interactive displays such as "Mr. Gross Mouth" and "Mr. Dip Lip," which garnered significant attention. Fair attendees were also invited to contribute to a large SWAT graffiti poster and pledge to abstain from using chewing tobacco.

Furthermore, the SWAT Chapter took proactive steps to promote tobacco-free environments by displaying "Breath Easy Zone" signs around the fairgrounds. With a shared goal of encouraging more private event venues to adopt Tobacco-Free Event & Venue policies, the TFP & SWAT Chapter emphasized the importance of protecting the health and safety of event attendees while maintaining the cleanliness and integrity of property.

For individuals seeking more information on the Tobacco Free Partnership, SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco), or Tobacco-Free Events & Venues, they are encouraged to contact Amanda John, Program Manager at, or Jessica Carlson, Tobacco Prevention Specialist at