News and Events

Gilchrist County Celebrates the 10th Annual Tobacco Free Florida Week!
April 8, 2018

The week of April 2nd-8th was the 10th annual Tobacco Free Florida Week. It was during this week that Tobacco Free Florida reached out to Floridians to encourage them to be tobacco free. Several locations around the community participated in Tobacco Free Florida Week outreach including the Trenton Library, Best Drugs and Palms Medical Offices in Trenton. Each of these locations posted information about Tobacco Free Florida Week which included information about how to quit for free.

The goal was to get information out to the community to encourage living a tobacco free lifestyle, as well as educating people who may not have been reached in previous campaigns. This year, Tobacco Free Florida Week focused on groups of people who are impacted by tobacco use at a higher rate than some other groups. One such group of concern in Gilchrist County would be people living in the lower income groups, especially people who make less than $30,000. The reason is that they are more likely to smoke, and they also tend to suffer more health consequences of smoking compared to people who have higher incomes.

In Gilchrist County, the number of individuals living below the poverty line is above the state average at 23.8% of the total population (Florida Dept. of Health, 2018). The average for the State of Florida is 16.1% (Florida Dept. of Health, 2018). The Federal government also measures incomes at levels above the poverty line to determine if individuals are able to qualify for certain services. One of those measures looks at people who are below 200% of the poverty level. For Gilchrist County, 44.9% of the population falls within this number, while the state average is 37.3% (Florida Dept. of Health, 2018).  A person who is in this group has an income of $24,280 according to the U.S. Department of Health Human Services. It’s important to reach out to this group based on what we know about the additional risk of smoking and health consequences for some individuals.

We know that tobacco companies target specific groups of people with advertising campaigns. For example, there are often more tobacco advertisements at stores in lower income neighborhoods compared to other locations. That’s why outreach opportunities like Tobacco Free Florida Week are so important – to let people know there is help to quit using tobacco, and to reach those groups frequently targeted with tobacco advertising. Did you know that Floridians can get help quitting for free? All you have to do is visit to get started!