News and Events

Gilchrist County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Celebrate Kick Butts Day!
March 17, 2017

March has been a busy month for Gilchrist County SWAT.  Kick Butts Day was celebrated this month, which is a national observance held by youth around the entire country to bring focus in their local communities about the ways tobacco companies intentionally target young people through point-of-purchase advertising and other marketing techniques designed to encourage youth initiation of tobacco products. 

Trenton SWAT held their Kick Butts Day observance at the middle and high school to reach a larger number of youth.  SWAT youth set up a banner urging students to take a stand against all forms of tobacco.  This included letting other youth know that tobacco products actually contain some nasty chemicals.  Students signed their names to the banner as a symbol of their personal stand against tobacco. SWAT youth interacted with students in each grade level which enabled them to reach over 200 students with a tobacco-free message.  The Bell SWAT club chose to organize a poster campaign earlier in the month with messages intended to warn students about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use.  Both SWAT events brought attention and energy to this issue, and it is the hope of Gilchrist SWAT members that their efforts will pay off by creating a change in the social norms about youth tobacco use. We already saw evidence of youth attitudes changing during the Trenton SWAT stand against tobacco event. When asked if he would sign his name to stand against tobacco one high school student said, “Absolutely, I will! No one should use the stuff!” Other students expressed similar sentiments regarding their willingness to make a stand against tobacco during these events, as well.

The youth involved in Gilchrist County SWAT clubs are actively trying to make Gilchrist County and the State of Florida a better place by encouraging their peers to adopt a tobacco-free lifestyle.  They continue to be actively engaged in activities on their school campuses to effect real change.