Students Working Against Tobacco
SWAT is all about promoting smoke free lifestyles in the Sunshine State. Being in SWAT gives you the chance to make a difference in your community, while also being part of a statewide movement. SWAT is by youth and for youth to create a smoke free Florida through activism.
HERE'S HOW SWAT WORKS:
- We fight against manipulative tobacco efforts that try to get new smokers
- We stop tobacco companies from infiltrating our culture
SWAT members fight for these goals by leading projects. As a member, you decide how to fight and how to use activism to cause social change in a fun and cool way.
The coolest part is, SWAT gives you real world experience: community service hours, college app building opportunities and hands on experience in leadership, activism, and promotions.
Local SWAT ChaptersIn Levy County, we currently have a county-wide SWAT Chapter and several school-based clubs:
- County SWAT Leadership Team
- Chiefland Middle and High School (Advisor: Mary Phillips, CHS)
- Bronson Middle and High School (Advisor: Cindy Austin, BMS)
- Williston Middle School (Advisors: Carmen Ward and Latisha Geiger)
- Cedar Key School (Advisor: Janeice Smith)
- Yankeetown School (Advisor: TBA)
- Williston High School (Advisor: TBA)
The SWAT Program is administered through the QuitDoc Foundation. For information, please contact: Kristina Zachry at KZachry@QuitDoc.com.
Other Youth Tobacco Prevention Programs
In Levy, The Tobacco Free Partnership also coordinates youth prevention programs for schools and community groups. These programs include:
Secondhand Smoke: Who is at Risk in Levy County?
About 10% of all tobacco-related deaths occur as a result of secondhand smoke exposure. Middle school and high school students in Levy County report being exposed to secondhand smoke at rates significantly higher than the Florida average. This presentation looks at the risks associated with secondhand smoke, and the impact of clean air legislation on reducing secondhand smoke exposure.
SmokeScreeners: The Impact of Onscreen Smoking on Youth Tobacco Initiation
Recent surveys reveal that one-third to one-half of all teenage smokers made the decision to use tobacco because it "looked cool in a movie". Most tobacco use in functions subliminally by normalizing tobacco use. Since 1990, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of smoking in movies, especially PG-13 movies marketed to middle-school students. The SmokeScreeners program teaches media literacy skills designed to reduce the influence of movie smoking.
Store Alert! Point of Purchase Tobacco Advertising
The Tobacco Industry currently spends $13 Billion each year to market their products in the United States; of that nearly $1 Billion is spent in Florida alone. That $13 Billion dollars breaks down to roughly $10,000 dollars spent on every new youth smoker recruited each year. 85% of that marketing budget is spent on Point-of-Purchase marketing... the advertisements, price-breaks, and give-aways that you see every day in your local tobacco retailers. Most of this is found in convenience stores in your neighborhoods.
The Store Alert program teaches young people to be aware of the types of marketing gimmicks used by the Tobacco Industry in local stores. An additional program is available to train youth on a system to conduct surveillance in the community and report the results as part of a database maintained by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.
Strange Candy: How the Tobacco Industry Targets Youth
After the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998, which resolved a series of lawsuits between the States and the Tobacco Industry, the industry agreed to a number of new marketing restrictions, including reduced magazine advertising, and the elimination of cartoon characters from all ads. The Tobacco Industry then exploited every loophole in the agreement, including the marketing of new candy-flavored tobacco products to entice youth.
While the new Food and Drug Administration rules regulating tobacco products has banned flavored cigarettes, tobacco manufacturers continue to exploit loopholes in the FDA legislation, including newer kid-friendly smokeless products and flavored cigars... neither of which is currently regulated by the FDA!
The Strange Candy program discusses issues of tobacco marketing with a focus on the issue of flavored tobacco products.
Call to Schedule a Program
Most of these presentations can also be tailored to an adult audience, such as a PTA. If you are interested in scheduling a program, please contact Kristina Zachry by phone (352-577-4309) or email (KZachry@QuitDoc.com). All programs are free-of-charge within Levy County.