News and Events

Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County Holds Annual Recognition Ceremony
April 25, 2018

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County held their Annual Awards and Recognition luncheon at Osceola Bistro on April 25, 2018.

Each Partnership member represents an important segment of the community. Attendees were from the Sebastian Business Community, School District, Department of Health, Substance Abuse Free IR (SAFIR), SWAT Advisors and the QuitDoc Foundation. The School District continues to support and promote the activities of SWAT clubs. The business community supports events and speaks for the Partnership. SWAT Advisors lead youth, teaching them skills and the truth about tobacco and nicotine addiction. SAFIR works alongside the Partnership promoting substance free lifestyles to youth.

Members received a pin recognizing their leadership, commitment and dedication to reducing tobacco use in Indian River County. Marie Blanchard, long time SWAT Advisor and Department of Health employee, received a beautiful award in recognition of her leadership with SWAT, her assistance with monitoring retail outlets and her creativity for the Partnership’s Pets and Secondhand Smoke campaign this year. Marie designed the brochure, two posters and set up the process of distributing the materials to over 125 veterinarians, rescue organizations, groomers, and pet stores.

Partnership members are the backbone of Indian River County’s tobacco control policies, tobacco prevention, cancer screening and advocacy. The Partnership’s Pets and Secondhand Smoke campaign will be expanded in the next few months to agencies serving the elderly. Secondhand Smoke and Kids will be their next project with a focus on reducing smoking in cars when children are present.

Members promote reducing exposure to tobacco products including vaping and electronic nicotine devices and support legislation and local policies limiting access to tobacco by minors. Of particular concern right now, is youth use of Juul, an electronic nicotine vaping device sweeping through Indian River middle and high school campuses and across the country. Partners plan to create an online portal or link available to parents and students that will provide the latest information about the harmful and addictive effects of these and other tobacco products.  

Partner advocacy is powerful. It was instrumental in defeating a proposed constitutional amendment that would have decimated future funding allocations for tobacco prevention programs and Students Working Against Tobacco. Being a member of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County gives any citizen the opportunity to educate others, advocate for change, and promote a tobacco free future for children.

To learn more about the Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County, go to or contact Leslie Spurlock at