Washington County School Board hears SWAT presentation

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

Preventing tobacco use and encouraging cessation among young people are critical in combating the tobacco epidemic because nearly nine out of 10 smokers start by age 18.

In fact, despite the progress in reducing the number of smokers, an estimated 18,900 youth (under 18years) in Florida will become new cigarette smokers this year, according to the website tobaccofreeflorida.org. Of every three young smokers, only one will quit,

and one of those remaining smokers will die from tobacco-related causes.

“Data shows the number of youth who try or habitually use tobacco increases with each increasing grade level,” said Tobacco Free Florida Bureau Chief Shannon Hughes. “As students go back to school, now is a perfect time for parents to talk with their kids about the dangers of tobacco use.”

Washington County Schools have a tobacco free school policy, which includes all school grounds and applies to all students, school staff and visitors.

Besides tobacco, the SWAT kids are also distributing information on nutrition and anti-bullying.

Young was recently named to the state’s SWAT Youth Advocacy Board.

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