News and Events

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Youth in Indian River County Actively Shared Their Message This Fall!
November 28, 2017

Indian River County SWAT students were busy attending training, taking to the streets and plastering schools with anti-tobacco poster messaging this quarter.

Nine SWAT youth from Sebastian River Middle School marched in the Sebastian River High School Homecoming Parade. Once the parade was over, their "no tobacco" messages were posted at school.

Sebastian River Middle School SWAT members Anna Woods and Genevieve Presti, also attended the Region 4 SWAT Training at Keiser University on October 14th. That day, over 30 SWAT youth from 13 counties (Indian River to Southwest Florida and the Keys) met for Take Down Tobacco training and to learn about the harmful effects of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS or electronic cigarettes), pipes, hookahs, and cigars. “It was not what I expected,” said Genevieve Presti, “it was much better than I expected!”

SWAT engaged the student body and school personnel in different activities every day during Red Ribbon Week. If Red Ribbon Week is primarily about drug abuse prevention, why would it be a SWAT activity? SWAT has learned tobacco is a drug and it is the first drug youth experiment with. Using tobacco is a risk factor and makes it much more likely youth will engage in subsequent drug use.  

On November 29th, accompanied by SWAT member Anna Woods, Kayla Hershberger and Genevieve Presti stood before the community and state legislators at the Indian River Legislative Delegation meeting and talked about what SWAT means to them. This SWAT group wants to end smoking and all tobacco use in their generation. All of SWAT’s varied activities are educating community members, peers, high school students, parents, school staff, and family members, about the deadly consequences of using tobacco.

SWAT is one of the most important components of the Tobacco Prevention Program in Indian River County and across the State of Florida.

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