News and Events

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Honors Chandler Ash of Archer, Florida As South Region Youth Advocate of the Year
Leadership in Fight Against Tobacco Recognized Nationally
May 13 , 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chandler Ash, 17, of Archer, Fla., has been named the South Region Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for his leadership in the fight against tobacco. Chandler will be honored at a gala in the nation’s capital on Thursday (May 15) along with a national winner, three other U.S. regional winners and a group winner.

Chandler is a senior and is homeschooled. He first got involved in fighting tobacco in middle school through Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) after watching his grandfather struggle with tobacco addiction.

He set a goal of reducing youth tobacco use in his county, and much of his advocacy work has revolved around the problem of fruit- and candy-flavored tobacco products. As a result of Chandler’s work, the Gilchrist County Commission passed an ordinance requiring all candy-flavored tobacco to be placed behind the counter, out of the sight and reach of children. The Commission also passed a resolution recommending that tobacco retailers refrain from selling candy-flavored tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes.

Chandler Ash




Last summer, Chandler led a group of youth advocates to speak with U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and Representative Ted Yoho about the problem of candy- and fruit-flavored cigars.

More than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders will attend the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ 18th annual gala in Washington, D.C., to recognize these young leaders. The winners will receive educational scholarships and grants to continue their prevention efforts. They also serve as ambassadors for Tobacco-Free Kids.

“We are thrilled to honor Chandler as our South Region Youth Advocate of the Year,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Young leaders like him are crucial in the fight to make tobacco history and end this epidemic for good. With their help, we can create the first tobacco-free generation.”


Without urgent action to reduce smoking, 5.6 million U.S. children alive today will die prematurely from smoking-caused disease, according to the latest Surgeon General’s report on tobacco and health. That includes 270,000 children in Florida alone.

In Florida, tobacco use claims 28,100 lives and costs $8.6 billion in health care bills each year. Currently, 8.6 percent of the state’s high school students smoke. Nationally, tobacco use kills more than 480,000 people and costs the nation at least $289 billion in health care bills and other economic losses each year.

For more information, contact Catherine Butsch, 202-296-5469.