News and Events

Gilchrist County Student Working Against Tobacco Youth Engage the Community During a Very Busy Fall!
December 10, 2013

The Gilchrist County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) youth have been busy with community outreach activities in the past several months. 

In October, several SWAT youth had the opportunity to address the Gilchrist County Legislative Delegation which was held at the Gilchrist County Board of County Commission board room in Trenton.  The youth spoke to Senator Charlie Dean and Representative Keith Perry about their local, state, and national outreach over the past year on the issues of tobacco marketing targeted toward youth, and candy flavored tobacco.  SWAT youth also discussed the recent increase in e-cigarette use among middle and high school students which was published by the CDC, and explained their concerns that e-cigarette use may become an increasing trend among youth in Gilchrist County.

Gilchrist County Delegation
SWAT meets the Gilchrist County Delegation, including Rep. Keith Perry (L), and Sen. Charlie Dean (R).

Also in October, SWAT held a recruitment activity which brought in several new members to the club!  This year SWAT youth have decided to create a leadership committee among the long-term members to help mentor new SWAT members, and provide leadership in various areas such as public speaking, or community event planning.  The SWAT leadership team has taken on many projects in their community, and most of them have been recognized as leaders in North Florida, nationally, and even internationally through their SWAT projects and work in 4-H.

SWAT youth also participated in the Great American Smoke Out this November by helping to prepare and package materials that were given out as part of the cessation promotion activities in the county.  As a result of their work, information about smoking cessation and access to the Florida Quitline was distributed to approximately 200 employees in Gilchrist County!

Christmas on Main Street
SWAT Participates in the Christmas on Main Street Event in Trenton.

In December, SWAT youth also partnered with the Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce by participating in the Christmas on Main Street Festival in Trenton along with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign by creating an area just for kids.  SWAT youth spoke with hundreds of young people about tobacco issues by providing a fun game to test the knowledge of local youth.  This event was truly a way for SWAT youth to reach out to young people who may have never heard their message, and to encourage children in the community to stay tobacco free.  Additionally, several adults discussed their quit attempts and successes in becoming tobacco-free which gave SWAT youth the opportunity to encourage newly tobacco-free community members.

For more information on the Gilchrist County SWAT Program, contact Tracy DeCubellis at