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We know quitting can be very hard, but it’s not impossible. In fact, there are more former smokers than current smokers in Florida. With the right help, resources, and the support to keep you going, Tobacco Free Florida can give you the best chance to quit for good. For each person, overcoming nicotine addiction is different and we can help you choose a path to quitting that works for you.
Tobacco Free Florida offers a number of free and convenient resources to help tobacco users quit.The Florida Quitline and Web Coach® are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
YOUTH ADVOCACY: SWAT
Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is Florida's statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. SWAT is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future.
Youth in SWAT are engaged in activities that educate their peers and policy makers about the need to change social norms related to tobacco. SWAT not only promotes leadership, but also helps develop speaking skills and creates opportunities for youth to grow as community advocates. On a local level, SWAT members participate in leadership workshops, local parades, commercial contests, art contests, writing contests, and various other anti-tobacco programming. Students participate in local events such as: Relay for Life, carnivals, community wellness events, parades, leadership retreats, youth rallies, & peer education activities.
To learn more about the Florida SWAT program, visit www.swatflorida.com. If you are interested in learning how to join the Duval County SWAT Chapter, please email Youth Coordinator, Julie Collins: email@example.com.
We assist employers in developing tobacco-free workplace policies. Creating a tobacco-free workplace not only provides a healthier environment for all employees, but also a supportive environment for employees who are in the process of quitting. Tobacco-free workplaces also protect customers and clients from secondhand smoke exposure and reduce tobacco product litter.
While smoking is banned inside buildings, not all school campuses in Florida have comprehensive policies that restrict smoking and the use of other tobacco products on all of their properties or at their events. Comprehensive tobacco-free campus policies are an important step in building a healthier future. These policies create a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, and staff, while sending a clear message that tobacco use is dangerous and that it’s not a socially acceptable behavior. De-normalizing tobacco use through positive role modeling is one important step. If students don’t see adults at their schools using tobacco, then they’ll be less likely to think tobacco is acceptable and will be less likely to ever start.
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING
We work with local apartment and condo communities to identify and implement smoke-free policy strategies that can create healthier environments for their residents–and a healthier bottom line for the landlord. Smoke-free apartments are less expensive to rehabilitate for new renters and some insurance companies provide discounts for smoke-free property policies.
TOBACCO-FREE OUTDOOR SPACES
Not only do tobacco products devastate the human body, they cause havoc on the environment–ending up in our waterways, along beaches and in our parks. Cigarette butts account for an extraordinary amount of waste. An estimated 1.69 billion pounds, or 845,000 tons, of cigarette butts accumulate as litter in lakes, in oceans, on beaches and on the rest of the planet annually. Only 10 percent of cigarette butts are properly deposited in ash receptacles. In fact, cigarettes and cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world. Tobacco-Free Jacksonville and SWAT members volunteer to clean-up local beaches and parks to bring awareness to the environmental impact of tobacco product litter. By educating community members about secondhand smoke and environmental issues of tobacco, we hope that more tobacco users will reconsider using tobacco in parks, playgrounds and beaches.
Meet our leadership. Want to become a member?
Chair: Beth Jensen
Beth Jensen has been a member of Tobacco-Free Jacksonville since 2013. During her time at American Lung Association in Florida, she helped launch LUNG FORCE, an initiative to raise awareness that lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer in men and women. Locally, she organized Friendship Fountain turning turquoise for Turquoise Takeover to raise awareness of LUNG FORCE. In 2014, she helped advocate against House Bill 169 which took away local control y of tobacco and e-cigarette product placement. Currently, she works for Pine Castle as the Associate Director of Development.
Ann Gipalo, elected Vice-Chair of TFCJ, has been a Coalition member for more than 2 years, representing Duval County Council PTA. She has three children in Duval County Public Schools and is a long-time PTA volunteer at the school and County Council level. She currently serves as Recording Secretary of the County Council and is a PTA mentor at John Love Early Learning Center.
Treasurer: Roy Fuller
Program Manager: April Seliga
Dr. Kay Gilmour
Board Member: Dr. Lynnette Kennison
Harry Reagan has been working for a tobacco-free Jacksonville for more than 30 years. At WJXT (TV-4), he did numerous editorials on the subject. As an at-large member of the Jacksonville City Council, he introduced a local ordinance on possession of tobacco by young people. And he has always been involved with Tobacco-Free Jacksonville (previously known as the Duval County Coalition Against Tobacco).
Dr. Brian Seymour
Nick Tennant moved to Jacksonville, FL from Nashville, TN in 2015. A native of Bluffton, SC, Nick’s educational background includes a B.A. from Clemson University in Communication Studies and a M.A. from Belmont University Sport Administration.
As a member of the District Wellness Team, Nick promotes healthy lifestyles and encourages an improved quality of life for nearly 12,000 employees and 129,000 students in Duval County Public Schools. During his employment with the school district, Nick has spear-headed the promotion of the tobacco cessation program and frequently communicates with key school personnel to relay valuable resources and materials. Nick is excited about his new role on the Board of the Tobacco Free Jax Coalition and looks forward to the continued collaboration between the community partners.
Julie Collins has been with Tobacco-Free Jacksonville for two years, managing the Student's Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) program. Julie is a graduate of the University of Florida, with her B.S. in Health Education. Julie strives to create the next tobacco-free generation by educating and empowering Duval County youth to take a stand against big tobacco companies.
AmeriCorps NHC Member: