News and Events

Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County Celebrates Annual Tobacco Free Florida Week
April 26, 2019

Tobacco Free Florida Week was the week of April 22nd this year and the focus was on the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. The goal of Tobacco Free Florida was to sound the alarm to the people of the State of Florida that our youth are facing an epidemic of e-cigarette use. The FDA has recently declared the use of e-cigarettes among the nation’s youth as a health crisis and an epidemic. This is because tobacco use among youth had reached an all-time low, until e-cigarettes were introduced onto the market. They quickly became the nicotine product of choice among young people.

Some of the key messages of Tobacco Free Florida Week included the effects of nicotine on a young person’s developing brain. Did you know that youth who use nicotine are at risk for problems with cognition, impulse control and can have deficits in attention span?  The most popular e-cigarette product is called Juul. Each Juul contains about as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. They come in flavors that appeal to kids and are easy for them to conceal. Some adults may even think they are usb drives instead of nicotine delivery devices.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist worked to shine a light on this issue in the community through the help of several partner organizations. It can be difficult to reach a parents and grandparents of young people with this important information. Therefore, they mounted a campaign directly targeted to places where families would gather so they could get the information into the hands of as many parents as possible. A display was set up at the Trenton Library with a variety of information for Tobacco Free Florida Week. Our Trenton SWAT club also contributed part of their photovoice campaign to the display so that community members could see how Juul is being marketed in local stores where they shop. Sometimes adults don’t see advertising in the same way as young people, so these pictures emphasized that this epidemic is an issue in our own community.

In addition, local health care professionals also participated in Tobacco Free Florida Week by hanging posters with information about e-cigarettes and their effects on the brains and bodies of children and youth in each exam room and in high traffic areas of each office at Palms Medical and Palms Pediatrics in Trenton. The Gilchrist Department of Health also displayed information about Tobacco Free Florida Week at a variety of high traffic locations, including patient exam areas.

These efforts of the Tobacco Free Partnership were important because disparate groups normally may not have access to this information, and targeting medical practices servicing children and families, and community gathering areas like the Trenton Library gave them the opportunity to do essential outreach to this focus group of residents. To learn more about the e-cigarette epidemic, or to join the Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist, please contact us at