The mission of Tobacco Free Hardee is to mobilize community partners to establish long-lasting system and policy changes that promote tobacco free social norms in order to prevent usage of tobacco products by youth/young adults, encourage and support tobacco cessation, eliminate health hazards of secondhand smoke and decrease the number of deaths due to tobacco products.
To empower and mobilize communities to reduce tobacco-related death and disease throughout Hardee County.
Youth & Tobacco Issues
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 nine out of 10 smokers start by age 18, it’s crucial to prevent kids from using tobacco during these pivotal years. Many youth have the attitude that they can “stop smoking at any time.” Unfortunately, the reality is quite different.
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 childrens’ 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.