Youth & Tobacco Issues
Tobacco Free Florida in Baker County join forces with Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) and community leaders to promote a tobacco-free Baker County.
Despite a decrease in the number of smokers in recent years, more than 18,900 kids (under age 18) in Florida become new cigarette smokers each year. Considering 9 out of 10 smokers start by age 18, it’s crucial to prevent kids from using tobacco during these pivotal years. Many youths have the attitude that they can “stop smoking at any time.” Unfortunately, the reality is quite different.
In Baker County, according to the 2016 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, 26.7 % of youth ever tried cigarettes. That is higher than the 13.7% State of Florida rate. 12.0% ever tried cigars, 18.5% ever tried smokeless tobacco, 24.4% ever tried hookah, 29.5% ever tried electronic vaping, 36.1% ever tried cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco and 46.3% who ever tried cigarettes, cigars, smokeless, hookah, or electronic vaping. 26.2% of youth who currently use cigarettes, cigars, smokeless, hookah, or electronic vaping. In addition to this, 59.9% of youth were exposed to secondhand cigarette or electronic vapor smoke. That is higher than the state with 49.7%.
Tobacco Free Florida along with Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) and local partnerships, are committed to reduce youth smoking and tobacco use rates. We are educating youth and adults about how the tobacco industry targets youth, protecting young people from “starter” products like candy flavored tobacco and little cigars, and working with the community to limit our children’s access and exposure to tobacco. Because almost all smokers begin when they are kids, if we are able to eliminate youth smoking, we can end the tobacco epidemic.