Washington County School Board hears SWAT presentation

Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM.

CHIPLEY — Vernon High School student Jessica Young gave the Washington County School Board an update on the district’s Students Working Against Tobacco program during Monday’s board meeting in Chipley.

Young, 16, reported that the SWAT and Tobacco Free Partnership students have been active at the Watermelon Festival, Possum Festival and Relay for Life among other events, working to bring awareness of the anti-tobacco program to children and adults.

“We’ve distributed posters, coloring books, and other items,” Young said. “We’re always looking for new ways to get our message to the kids.”

SWAT, along with the Tobacco Free Partnership, works to get the message out to school children that using tobacco is not a good idea.

SWAT is Florida's statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco,” according to the website, floridahealth.gov. SWAT is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future.

Groups like SWAT and Tobacco Free Florida, are working to make sure as many teens as possible never start using tobacco.

According to the Florida Health Department website, the tobacco industry spends more than $700 million a year in marketing in the state of Florida alone. The marketing is aimed at getting teens to begin smoking, and 9 out of 10 current smokers started in their teens.

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