News and Events

Local Students Working Against Tobacco Speak Out!
December 9, 2014

Indian River Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) members are busy learning and sharing what they have learned about the dangers of tobacco use.

Vero Beach High School SWAT President, Jesus Humberto Parada, spoke before Indian River County’s Legislative Delegation meeting held on December 5, 2014.  State Representative Debbie Mayfield, Senator Thad Altman, and Senator Joe Negron’s legislative staff attended the event at the Vero Beach City Hall.

Humberto Parada
Jose Humberto Parada addresses the Indian River County Legislative Delegation.

Many community members and government officials were present during Humberto’s speech, during which he shared the SWAT Chapter’s successes over the past year.  The Vero Beach High School SWAT club currently has 19 students who work together spreading anti-tobacco messages on campus and during school events. Their focus this year is recruiting more SWAT members, educating the student body about the dangers of new tobacco products, and sharing the connection between tobacco use and early death.  Humberto enlightened the crowd with examples of SWAT activities and asked for their continued support in keeping his generation tobacco free.

Indian River County, Florida Legislative Delegation Meeting, December 4, 2014

Also in December, Vero Beach High School SWAT and Tobacco Free Partnership members met to hear cancer survivor, Bob Herbst, talk about his addiction to tobacco, life after his laryngectomy, and living with a stoma. People were invited to look down into his stoma because his heart and lungs are visible. It was one of the highlights of the meeting!

Bob Herbst
Cancer survivor and laryngectomy patient Bob Herbst is examined.

This fall, Oslo Middle School SWAT members made posters for CVS to thank them for stopping the sale of tobacco. Posters were also made for other tobacco free businesses located in the County, including Target, Indian River Medical Center, Starbucks, Piper, Treasure Coast Community Health Center, and Panera Bread.

Oslo Middle School SWAT

Coming up in January, these posters will be used in a Tobacco Free Appreciation Walk that will show support of those businesses.

For more information on the SWAT program in Indian River County, contact Leslie Spurlock at