News and Events

Learn more about the Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County
April 23, 2019

The mission of the Gilchrist County Tobacco-Free Partnership (TFP) is to mobilize community partners to establish long-lasting system and policy changes that promote tobacco-free social norms in order to prevent usage of tobacco products by youth/young adults, encourage and support tobacco cessation, eliminate health hazards of secondhand smoke and decrease the number of deaths due to tobacco products.

The vision of the Gilchrist County Tobacco Free Partnership is to develop and sustain core infrastructures of tobacco prevention and control activities, and promote usage of the Florida Quitline, in a culturally competent manner to deliver services that include diverse service providers represented in all goal areas, including county health departments, schools and higher education institutions, businesses, health care systems and providers, law enforcement, local and statewide non-profit agencies, and others as recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2014 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs (CDC Best Practices).

The motivation of the Tobacco Free Partnership in Gilchrist County is to reduce the number of youth who try, or use, tobacco and ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery/e-cigarette) products, reduce secondhand smoke exposure among youth and adults, and to encourage adult smoking cessation through local policies. The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey shows that Gilchrist County youth try or use tobacco and ENDS products at a higher rate than the statewide average, and they are exposed to more secondhand smoke as well. Additionally, the adult smoking rate in Gilchrist is higher than the state average according to Florida CHARTS information.

To address the tobacco issues in the community, the Tobacco Free Partnership believes that community education and engagement is a key factor in changing tobacco-related social norms that influence tobacco use. We work with key stakeholders in the community to engage decision makers to create policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use in public places such as community events and recreation areas. The TFP also accomplishes this through sponsoring smoke-free or tobacco and ENDS-free events such as the Christmas on Main festival. Many partnership members participate in other local coalitions which creates an opportunity to educate and participate in larger discussions involving tobacco-related issues in the community.

Using these strategies, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist has been successful in influencing policy changes in the community. Some examples of policy changes that have occurred as a direct result of partnership involvement are:

  1. Otter Springs – Tobacco free/ENDS free policy which includes the park and events held at the park and all employees.
  2. Tri-County World’s Greatest Baby Shower – implemented a tobacco and ENDS-free policy for each event.
  3. Three Rivers Library – The entire library system created a tobacco and ENDS-free policy and the Gilchrist Tobacco Free Partnership helped support this policy in Gilchrist County at the Trenton Library.
  4. Alliance Dairy – created a financial incentive program for any employee who stopped using tobacco products.
  5. Events – Tobacco and ENDS-free policy at the Jakes’ Day event for National Wild Turkey Federation, tobacco and ENDS-free FFA alumni fishing tournament, all Chamber of Commerce events are tobacco and ENDS-free, the Character Council sponsored circus is tobacco and ENDS-free.
  6. Suwannee River Youth Fair is smoke free.
  7. Flavored tobacco – 2012 County Ordinance restricting tobacco to be placed behind the counter, and flavored tobacco resolutions in all municipalities.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County is an active community group made up of diverse membership that represents many cooperating community organizations. For information about joining the Partnership or attending one of our quarterly meetings, contact us at