News and Events

Students Working Against Tobacco Will be Telling the Vaping Industry that They are "Not a Lab Rats"!
September 20, 2018

Students Working Against Tobacco clubs are established to give young people in Gilchrist County the opportunity to speak out in the community to let people know the ways in which tobacco companies target them and their friends to become replacement customers for the 430,000 people who die from tobacco related illness each year.  SWAT youth take this message seriously since approximately 90% of all smokers report that they started smoking before the age of 18.  These youth are dedicated to educating and advocating for policies that will help other youth stay tobacco-free for life.

Gilchrist County SWAT youth are active this year to educate the community about the issue of e-cigarette use among youth. In Gilchrist County, 19.3% of all young people (11-17 yrs.) are regular users of e-cigarettes. Even more shocking is that 30.5% of all students ages 11-17 have ever tried an e-cigarette according to the latest Florida Youth Tobacco Survey. The FDA has recently called e-cigarette use among young people “an epidemic.” Gilchrist SWAT members have been working since the beginning of the school year to have outreach events to try to stop this epidemic of young people who are becoming addicted to nicotine through non-traditional tobacco products. Their message this school year is: Not a Lab Rat, which means that they don’t want their generation to be the ones who find out what kinds of harms might come to them from using e-cigarettes the way past generations have with traditional cigarettes.

Members of Gilchrist County SWAT are addressing this issue by joining the statewide SWAT effort to let people know that Big Tobacco is up to its old tricks again with e-cigarette products. They will be educating the community on the issue of the tobacco company marketing techniques that attract young people.  Watch this space in your newsletter to see what Gilchrist SWAT will accomplish this year.  They will continue to work toward their goals by promoting policies that give a clear tobacco-free message to youth and parents in order to build new social norms in the county which support living a tobacco-free and nicotine free lifestyle.