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Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County Celebrates Tobacco Free Florida Week
April 18, 2019

In December 2018, The US Surgeon General declared Youth Vaping an epidemic. In response, Indian River County’s 2019 Tobacco Free Florida Week focused on Youth Vaping, an E-Epidemic. In fact, this was the theme in all sixty-six Florida Tobacco Prevention Programs!

Since each County’s Tobacco Prevention Program is unique, all media collateral was developed by the State’s Media vendor for use across the state.  Indian River’s Tobacco Free Partnership chose to use the Youth and Vaping one page and two-page flyers and the FaceBook banner.

Partners from the Department of Health posted flyers in several areas around the patient clinics, employee water fountains, and in the bathrooms. Sebastian River High School distributed them to staff, Chamber members, and parents who attended a Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the new Wrestling Room at the high school. The grantee emailed or passed out flyers to over 200 people including government officials, School District Administration, the Executive Roundtable, SAFIR Coalition, HR Association, and SHAC. Treasure Coast Community Health posted them at their adult, pediatric and family clinic locations. Cleveland Clinic distributed the flyers to staff as did the American Cancer Society.

Top Row: Commissioners Flescher, O’Bryan, Solari, Adams, and Zorc. With County Attorney Reingold and County Administrator Brown; Bottom Row: Partnership Member Marie Blanchard and SWAT student Jessica Romano with Leslie Spurlock, QuitDoc TPS.

County Commissioners issued a Proclamation recognizing Tobacco Free Florida Week and read facts from the Youth E-Epidemic campaign. A SWAT student and Partnership members all spoke about the harms of youth e-cigarette use. Proclamations are seen on a local TV channel and taped for future viewing by the public. It’s a great way to gain support from decision makers and the public.

Vaping is unsafe for kids, teens and young adults. According to the 2018 Florida Tobacco Youth Survey, twenty-five percent of Florida high school students are vaping. Juul is the most popular brand of e-cigarette used by youth. Due to its popularity with youth, Juul’s market share increased from 2% in 2016 to 76% in 2018. The Tobacco Free Partnership coordinated the 2019 Tobacco Free Florida Week education campaign to inform the Indian River residents about the harmful effects of nicotine on the developing youth brain.