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Tobacco Free Florida Week Focuses on Secondhand Smoke
May 14, 2016

Tobacco Free Florida Week 2016 ended in Indian River County with proclamations and awards celebrating community support for tobacco control policies.

Tobacco Free Partners and businesses participated in three community-wide meetings.  Partners attended County Commission, Vero Beach City Council, and Sebastian City Council meetings, where the impact of being exposed to second hand smoke was emphasized in several proclamations.

Breathing even small amounts of secondhand smoke (SHS) can be dangerous.  In Indian River, 33% of middle school students are exposed to SHS at home and 17% of middle school students are exposed to SHS in public. Non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent, and their risk for stroke by 20 to 30 percent.

The municipalities of Vero Beach and Sebastian and Indian River County were recognized for supporting tobacco control over the past several years, as well as approving ordinances and passing tobacco control resolutions.

After receiving the County’s proclamation, the Tobacco Free Partnership honored the School District, Treasure Coast Community Health Center, Senior Resource Association, and Indian River Medical Center with Leadership Awards for achieving and implementing tobacco free grounds policies. Each one is dedicated to decreasing secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace. Collectively these organizations protect their employees and thousands of clients, patients, customers, and residents from secondhand smoke.

Although we are proud of their past achievements, additional work is needed in the community to decrease child and adult exposure to secondhand smoke. Where can we improve? Join the Tobacco Free Partnership and let’s work on your ideas. For more information contact us at