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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.
Contact Beth: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Program Manager: April Seliga
April Seliga began her journey at the University of South Florida, where she received her BSc in Environmental Science and Policy in 2004. April then went on to graduate school to receive her M.P.H in the concentration of Epidemiology at the University of Florida in 2006. After graduation, April worked in the field as an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, Chronic Disease Epidemiologist and Health Education. Through April’s various roles in public health, she has always worked in tobacco prevention in some way, but truly began her passion within it in 2009 while educating on the negative impact of tobacco and nicotine with youth. From there April then went on to work with Tobacco Free Parks, Smoke Free Multiunit Housing, Tobacco Free Worksite Wellness and Tobacco Free Campuses.
Sally graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Merchandising Management. She has worked in the area of prevention since 2009 and is currently the Community and Development Director for Drug Free Duval. Sally is dedicated to engaging community partners and stakeholders to support the prevention efforts both locally and regionally. She has been extensively trained in the Strategic Prevention Framework and uses this process to bring the community together to develop comprehensive solutions to identified substance abuse problems. These problems are then addressed with strategies that are proven effective in promoting population level change. Sally would like to thank all of our collaborative partners both new and long term who continue to make Duval County a healthier and safer place for all of us to live.
Dr. Kay Gilmour
Dr. Kay Gilmour is a long standing member of Tobacco-Free Jacksonville and one of our area’s outstanding cardiologists. She graduated from the University of Florida Medical School. She did her internal medicine intern and residency at Johns Hopkins Univeristy. Dr. Gilmour completed her cardiovascular training at the University of Alabama medical school in Birmingham, Alabama.
Her long and outstanding medical career has many highlights. She was the first female critical care practitioner in Jacksonville. She was the first female Chief of Cardiology at Memorial Hospital. She was the first female Chief of Staff at Memorial Hospital. She was also the first female President of the Duval County Medical Society which is the oldest medical society in the state of Florida.
Dr. Gilmour has published three books: Winter’s Wrath the Palatine Journey: Part One, Charity's Chains The Palatine Journey: Part Two, A Genealogical History of Florida Revealed in The Old St. Nicholas Cemetery. Dr. Gilmour is the co-operator of the WomenTravelSafe blog and tutorial.
Board Member: Dr. Lynnette Kennison
Dr. Lynnette Kennison is an Associate Professor of Nursing and the Project Director of the Veterans Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN) program at the Jacksonville University Keigwin School of Nursing. Dr. Kennison has a BSN from the University of Colorado, an MSN from the University of Florida, MA in Counseling from Liberty University and a PhD in Nursing from the University of Florida. Dr. Kennison is a retired Colonel with 30 years of commissioned service, beginning as an active duty Ensign in the US Navy Nurse Corps. Her last duty assignment was under the Army Surgeon General, Health Policy and Services, Washington DC during Operation Enduring Freedom. Her research interests include college transition issues for military Veterans, tobacco prevention and cessation on college campuses, disaster response support and obstacles and facilitators for healthy weight.
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
Dr. Seymour is the Research Director of the Center for the Prevention of Health Disparities at Edward Waters College (EWC). His pioneering work on the effects of second-hand smoke on allergic asthma was partly instrumental on legislation that ban smoking in public places in the state of California. Dr. Seymour is currently pursuing public health research opportunities in the local community. His goal is to inform and support the policy making process that can ultimately eliminate the health disparity that exists in urban communities such as Health Zone 1 where EWC is located.
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 since 2015, 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:
Natalie is a Spring 2017 graduate of the University or North Florida with a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics. After spending time out in the community doing nutrition education and community gardening, she realized her passion was in public health. After graduating college, Natalie moved to Colorado and spent some time teaching nutrition education and gardening skills to the homeless and underserved in the San Luis Valley.
Natalie is back at UNF pursing her Master’s in Public Health while serving with The National Health Corps Florida here at Tobacco Free Jacksonville.
Tobacco-Free Jacksonville, Inc. recognizes local businesses and organizations that create and maintain smoke-free or tobacco-free campuses with their annual Empty Ashtray Award. Please complete the following form to nominate a local business or organization.
Tobacco-Free Jacksonville Coalition, Inc.
6852 Belfort Oaks Pl
Jacksonville, FL 32216