News and Events

Students Working Against Tobacco in Indian River County Continue Work on Vaping
December 12, 2022

SWAT, or Students Working Against Tobacco, is a youth coalition whose mission is to mobilize, educate and equip Florida’s youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. The SWAT Chapter in Indian River County has partnered with local organization, Substance Abuse Free Indian River (SAFIR) to empower local youth to educate peers and the community.

This quarter, SWAT students continued their advocacy efforts to improve their schools and community. For their advocacy projects, SWAT clubs identified addressing youth vaping and promoting cessation as their primary focus. Over the quarter, youth have been meeting with local collaborators to discuss vaping, interviewing peers about vaping, and learning foundational advocacy skills.

The Students Working Against Tobacco Chapter hosted the National Guard for several SWAT meetings this quarter. The National Guard provided education to students on the dangers of tobacco use and vaping. The SWAT students were able to ask the presenters questions and have a better understanding of tobacco and its effects on the body. This education provided an additional foundation to their advocacy work.

In addition to the National Guard, SWAT hosted special guest Dr. Barry Hummel, who discussed the youth vaping epidemic and local solutions to educate community members, parents, and peers on the dangers of vaping. Dr. Barry Hummel spoke at the Not A Lab Rat Day Town Hall on October 19, 2022.  Not a Lab Rat Day is a statewide tobacco control observance that empowers students to stand up to the tobacco industry and proclaim that they will not test the e-cigarettes on their bodies and is recognized annually in Indian River County.

Students Working Against Tobacco in Indian River County has current clubs at Indian River Charter High School, Storm Grove Middle School, and Boys and Girls Club of Vero Beach. The program is open to all Indian River County youth who are in grades 6-12.