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The Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County is Making Plans for the Upcoming 2022-2023 Year
September 2, 2022

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County is dedicated to the creation of tobacco-free social norms through a combination of community education, youth advocacy and changes in local tobacco policies. The Partnership met on August 18, 2022, at the United Way Center and identified multiple policy areas which will be priority this fiscal year. The Partnership will continue its work alongside Students Working Against Tobacco and QuitDoc to address the policy and education priorities of the organization. The policy and education priorities for this year include:

Tobacco-Free K-12 Schools: According to the 2020 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey the current e-cigarette usage rate in Indian River County is 16.5% (ages 11-17). The Partnership is continuing their efforts to educate youth, parents, and decisionmakers about the dangers of these devices. On January 24, 2022, the School District of Indian River County implemented their new policy that includes almost all the recommended comprehensive policy provisions. The missing element remains a written commitment of tobacco prevention education. The Partnership will continue to educate the School District on the importance of making a written commitment to tobacco prevention education by adding the missing element to the policy.

Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing: There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. In addition, research has clearly demonstrated that in multi-unit buildings, tobacco smoke travels from smokers’ units into the units of non-smokers. Smoke can also travel between the units of smokers into common areas such as hallways and lobbies. The QuitDoc Foundation and Tobacco Free Partnership will continue their work from previous years in establishing tobacco-free policies in apartment complexes and condominiums to ensure that every resident has the right to clean air.

Point of Sale: The Partnership of Indian River County and Students Working Against Tobacco are committed to continuing education efforts on the dangers of tobacco promotion and access at the retail point of sale. A primary focus this year will be identifying e-cigarette/vape shops in Indian River County to determine the types of products being sold and the licenses/permits the stores carry. The Partnership will also be conducting environmental scans on how tobacco products are sold and advertised in Indian River County.

Tobacco Free Public Spaces: On July 1, 2022, House Bill No. 105 took effect. This bill authorizes counties and municipalities to further restrict smoking within the boundaries of public beaches and public parks. Having smoke free beaches and parks will benefit the entire community by ensuring a healthy environment, free of secondhand smoke and cigarette liter. Indian River County Commissioners have been lobbying for such authority since at least 2019. In December 2021 Vero Beach City Council expressed their unanimous support for establishing smoke-free zones on public beaches and in public parks. Indian River County is currently in the review phase of the policy-making cycle and the Partnership members will continue to educate and provide support during this time.

For more information on the work of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Indian River County, contact us at