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    Tobacco Free St. Johns is a community-wide, locally organized group collectively working towards eliminating initiation and use of tobacco and alternative nicotine products among St. Johns County residents, supporting tobacco policy change and educating decision makers about the impact of tobacco use and nicotine addiction on the lives of St. Johns County residents and visitors.

     

    Tobacco Free St. Johns is an action-oriented partnership generally meets every other month on the third Tuesday from 11:00am - 12:00pm. Membership is open to any St. Johns County citizen or organization that supports the goals of this partnership. To be included on the mailing list, please contact us!

     

    2023/2024 Meeting Dates:

    All meetings will be held at the HHS Kingfisher Conference Room

     

    Tuesday, August 15, 2023

    Tuesday, October 17, 2023

    Tuesday, December 19, 2023

    Tuesday, February 20, 2024

    Tuesday, April 16, 2024

    Tuesday, June 18, 2024

     

     

  • Youth Vaping

    Youth tobacco use remains a major problem in St. Johns County. Findings from the 2020 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey highlight that approximately one in three (33%) youth aged 11-17 in our county report trying a tobacco product. Vaping is the leading form of youth tobacco use, with one in six (17%) youth in our county reporting they currently vape. The proportion who reported currently using a tobacco product increased from 14% in 2014 to 18.5% in 2020. This trend was driven by an increase in e-cigarette use. In addition, the majority (70%) of local youth report being exposed to secondhand smoke from cigarettes or vapor from e-cigarettes (Source: Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, 2020).

    YOUTH VAPING ALERT

    WHAT PARENTS AND EDUCATORS NEED TO KNOW

    ALL pod-based vaping devices contain high amounts of nicotine. These products are addictive to youth brains. One in four teens that vape begin to use traditional tobacco within one year.

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    YOUTH VAPING ALERT

    WHAT PARENTS AND EDUCATORS NEED TO KNOW

    Our biggest concern with pod-based systems among young people is that they deliver (at the very least) the same amount of nicotine that is found in a pack of cigarettes. ALLsalt-based e-juice/liquid contains nicotine!

     

    Nicotine is highly addictive. Nicotine is harmful to the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, digestive system, and more.

     

    Are you an educator? Here's FREE curriculum to incorporate into your classes.

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    YOUTH VAPING ALERT

    WHAT PARENTS AND EDUCATORS NEED TO KNOW

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued information on this issue. They have many resources for parents and educators to help prevent a generation of children suffer from a lifetime of addiction.

     

     

  • ARE YOU NEXT?

    Are You Next is a local campaign that provides local resources to our St. Johns County youth.

    Click on the link to learn more: areyounextstjohns.weebly.com

  • Teen-friendly Cessation Options

    Is your child addicted to vaping? Nicotine addiction is serious and often teens need specialized help to them to break the grip nicotine has on their brain.

    1

    Talk to your child.

    From the Centers for Disease Control: The Parent Tip Sheet[5.2 MB] offers ideas for conversation starters. Print this for yourself or share it with your children. Ask them what they think after reading the tip sheet.

    2

    Teen-friendly Cessation Program.

     

    N-O-T (Not On Tobacco®) is is an evidence-based approach to help youth ages 14-19 quit or reduce their tobacco use, including e-cigarettes.

    3

    Talk to your doctor.

    If your child is struggling, don't be afraid to talk to your doctor about addiction counseling services available in your area. You can also talk to your doctor to discuss if nicotine replacement therapy could be appropriate for your child. Do not allow your child to use nicotine replacement therapy without consulting your doctor.

  • Programs & Information

    Could we help? Here's our service request form

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    Juvenile Tobacco Citation Education Class

    Compliance Information

    Persons under the age of 18 caught in possession, use or purchase of tobacco or nicotine products are committing a noncriminal violation. Minors will be issued a citation by law enforcement, punishable by:
    1st Violation: Pay $30 fine, or complete 16 hours of community service, AND attend the approved anti-tobacco education class within 30 days.
    2nd Violation within 12 weeks: Pay additional $30 fine within 30 days. 
    3rd Violation within 12 weeks: Driver’s license revoked or issuance withheld.

     

    If your child received a tobacco citation, click here for the information brochure. The required education class is taught by EPIC Behavioral Healthcare.

     

    If your child needs to complete the Tobacco Citation Education Class, you must visit www.epicbh.org/tobacco to register.

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    Cessation

    Quit YOUR Way with Tobacco Free Florida

    We know quitting can be very hard, but it’s not impossible. In fact, there are more former smokers than current smokers in Florida. With the right help, resources, and the support to keep you going, Tobacco Free Florida can give you the best chance to quit for good. For each person, overcoming nicotine addiction is different and we can help you choose a path to quitting that works for you.


    Tobacco Free Florida offers a number of free and convenient resources to help tobacco users quit. Click here for more information.

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    Youth Advocacy: SWAT

    Empowering Florida's Teens

    Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is Florida's statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. SWAT is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future.

     

    Youth in SWAT are engaged in activities that educate their peers and policy makers about the need to change social norms related to tobacco. SWAT not only promotes leadership, but also helps develop speaking skills and creates opportunities for youth to grow as community advocates. On a local level, SWAT members participate in leadership workshops, local parades, commercial contests, art contests, writing contests, and various other anti-tobacco programming. Students participate in local events such as: Relay for Life, carnivals, community wellness events, parades, leadership retreats, youth rallies, & peer education activities.

     

    To learn more about the Florida SWAT program, visit www.swatflorida.com. If you are interested in learning how to join the St. Johns County SWAT Chapter, please email our Community Engagement Specialist, Jacqueline Rush at jacqueline@civcom.com.

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    Tobacco-Free Colleges

    Protecting Young Adults ​

    While smoking is banned inside buildings, not all school campuses in Florida have comprehensive policies that restrict smoking and the use of other tobacco products on all of their properties or at their events. Comprehensive tobacco-free campus policies are an important step in building a healthier future. These policies create a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, and staff, while sending a clear message that tobacco use is dangerous and that it’s not a socially acceptable behavior. De-normalizing tobacco use through positive role modeling is one important step. If students don’t see adults at their schools using tobacco, then they’ll be less likely to think tobacco is acceptable and will be less likely to ever start.

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    Tobacco-Free Outdoor Spaces

    Protecting Kids & the Environment​

    Not only do tobacco products devastate the human body, they cause havoc on the environment–ending up in our waterways, along beaches and in our parks. Cigarette butts account for an extraordinary amount of waste. An estimated 1.69 billion pounds, or 845,000 tons, of cigarette butts accumulate as litter in lakes, in oceans, on beaches and on the rest of the planet annually. Only 10 percent of cigarette butts are properly deposited in ash receptacles. In fact, cigarettes and cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world. Tobacco Free St. Johns and SWAT members volunteer to clean-up local beaches and parks to bring awareness to the environmental impact of tobacco product litter. By educating community members about secondhand smoke and environmental issues of tobacco, we hope that more tobacco users will reconsider using tobacco in parks, playgrounds and beaches.

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    Tobacco-Free Workplaces

    Healthy Employees for a Healthier Bottomline ​

    We assist employers in developing tobacco-free workplace policies. Creating a tobacco-free workplace not only provides a healthier environment for all employees, but also a supportive environment for employees who are in the process of quitting. Tobacco-free workplaces also protect customers and clients from secondhand smoke exposure and reduce tobacco product litter.

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    Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing

    Limiting Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

    We work with local apartment and condo communities to identify and implement smoke-free policy strategies that can create healthier environments for their residents–and a healthier bottom line for the landlord. Smoke-free apartments are less expensive to rehabilitate for new renters and some insurance companies provide discounts for smoke-free property policies.

     

    Learn more about the Florida Apartment Association's smoke-free housing certification program here.

  • Local Events

    Stay current on all of our events around St. Johns County...

    Brave Summit -Wednesday, March 27, 2024 from 3pm-8pm

    Brave Summit -Wednesday, March 27, 2024 from 3pm-8pm

    We are pleased to announce that we will be back for the 4th annual BRAVE Summit is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at The St. Augustine Amphitheater. The Summit aims to open a dialogue with teens and address the stigma associated with mental health while encouraging teens to learn how to foster mental wellness.

    With more than 1,000 attendees last year, we hope to make an even bigger impact on young people this year. This will be a FREE, LIVE event accessible to all high school students across Florida.

    Sign Up Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brave-summit-2024-tickets-732849381227
    View more details...
    National Through With Chew Week - February 18-24, 2024

    National Through With Chew Week - February 18-24, 2024

    National Through with Chew Week is a week-long tobacco-free event, dedicated to stopping the use of smokeless tobacco. We will be at Creekside High School and St. Augustine High School celebrating the week with our SWAT Clubs.
    View more details...
    Endless Summer 10K & 5K Run/Walk - November 18th, 2023

    Endless Summer 10K & 5K Run/Walk - November 18th, 2023

    We excited to announce we are a proud sponsor of these two great runs. Both runs are presented by Don's Friends and benefit two Great Charities...Don's FRIENDS and Friends of Anastasia. The Event is hosted by Anastasia State Park, which is a BEAUTIFUL Ocean Front State Park located in St. Augustine, Florida........Over 4 Miles of PRISTINE Ocean Front Beach. BOTH runs have sold out IN ADVANCE, 9 YEARS IN A ROW. Hundreds are disappointed each year after both runs sell out. Get your tickets before they sale out at: https://www.donsfriend.com/run-info
    View more details...
    National Red Ribbon Week - October 23-31, 2023

    National Red Ribbon Week - October 23-31, 2023

    Red Ribbon Week takes place each year from October 23 through 31st. Join us in our MISSION to help keep kids drug-free. This we were able to visit 6 different public schools in St. johns County including Creekside High School, Pedro Menendez High School, RJ Murray Middle School, St. Augustine High School, St. Johns Technical High School, and Tocoi Creek High School.


    View more details...
    Not A Lab Rat Day - October 18, 2023

    Not A Lab Rat Day - October 18, 2023

    Not A Lab Rat Day is a statewide initiative that empowers youth to stand up and declare that they refuse to be the tobacco and e-cigarette industry's “lab rats” as we wait and see the long-term health effects of vaping.
    View more details...
    World No Tobacco Day - May 31, 2023

    World No Tobacco Day - May 31, 2023

    What is World No Tobacco Day?
    World No Tobacco Day is observed around the world on May 31. This annual event helps raise awareness about the impact of tobacco, predatory practices used by tobacco and vape companies, and actions communities are taking to protect future generations.

    Tobacco causes addiction, disease, and death.
    -Tobacco use starts young and easily turns into a lifelong addiction. Nearly 9 out of 10 adults who smoke cigarettes daily first tried smoking by age 18.
    -Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable death and disease. It is associated with cancer, heart disease, lung diseases, drug use, and pregnancy complications. Nicotine harms parts of the brain that support learning & mental health.

    Tobacco use is a widespread problem.
    -Across Florida, 1 in 7 youth ages 11-17 vapes or uses another toxic tobacco product, and 1 in 7 adults smoke.
    -Though there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, the majority (59%) of Florida youth report being exposed.
    -Each year, tobacco and vape companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars marketing their products in Florida.


    View more details...
    Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action - March 31, 2023

    Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action - March 31, 2023

    What is the Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action?
    Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up, and seize control against Big Tobacco. This event is organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Generally this event happens in late March or early April.

    We have a youth vaping crisis.
    -Vape products are reversing years of progress made toward preventing nicotine addiction in youth.
    -Each year, tobacco and vape companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars marketing their products in Florida.
    -Due to preemptive state policies, Florida cities and counties no longer have the authority to implement policies that protect children and improve public health, such a tobacco retail licensing or bans on the marketing and sale of flavored nicotine products that appeal to youth.
    -Every young person deserves a fair chance at a healthy future—free from nicotine addiction.
    -Live Vape Free is a free service for teens (13-17) who want to quit. It offers text support & coaching. To sign up, text VAPEFREE to 873373.

    Resources:
    Visit takedowntobacco.org.
    View more details...
    National Prevention Week May 7-13, 2023

    National Prevention Week May 7-13, 2023

    National Prevention Week, held in May, is a national public education platform bringing together communities and organizations to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health. This year marks the formation of the St Johns County Prevention Week Planning Committee bringing together organizations such as Tobacco Free St. Johns, Prevention Coalition of St Johns County, The Hanley Foundation, National Guard DDRO, and Epic Behavioral Health. Updates on the week’s events and daily themes to be presented in SJC Schools coming soon. For more information: https://www.samhsa.gov/prevention-week
    View more details...
    Earth Day - April 22, 2023 from 9AM-11AM

    Earth Day - April 22, 2023 from 9AM-11AM

    Grab your family and friends and head to North Beach Park for a Public Beach Clean-Up!

    Join TOBACCO FREE ST. JOHNS and help keep our beaches clean!
    All supplies are provided. There are even prizes at the completion of the Cleanup! Bring all necessary paperwork if this is for service hours.

    Date: Saturday, April 22, 2023

    Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM

    LOCATION:
    North Beach Park
    3721 Coastal Hwy
    St. Augustine, FL 32084

    All items needed to participate in the community clean up will be provided including gloves, buckets, and paper-bags . Please keep in mind that this is an outside event and that it will most likely be hot, so please bring your own reusable water bottle. You do not have to sign up prior to the event. We ask that you arrive a little early to sign up in person. We just ask that you share the word and invite your friends and family.

    Follow this link to sign up for the event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/earth-day-beach-clean-up-tickets-601635527057
    View more details...
    Brave Summit - March 28, 2023 from 3pm-7pm

    Brave Summit - March 28, 2023 from 3pm-7pm

    We had such an amazing time at the Brave Summit. We can't wait until next year!

    The Brave Summit provided a safe place to talk to other high school students in the area about mental health and how to breakdown stigma and normalize conversations about mental health 365 days a year.

    The Summit featured some of today's most captivating speakers, artists, and content creators to hold panels, group discussions, and talks all focused on taking charge of your mental health. We heard from some of TikToks most popular mental health advocates and jam to some live music from local artists like King Peach, Kelp, and DJ Gexella.
    View more details...
  • Spring 2024 Internship

    Tobacco Free St. Johns is seeking a Flagler College or University of North Florida student to serve as a Health Policy Communications Intern. This position will contribute to a variety of local initiatives designed to prevent addiction and save lives.

     

    The intern will serve as policy communication campaign assistant for a variety of projects including work with our SWAT Clubs; research and write articles on tobacco prevention and control topics; implement tobacco-free partnership community communications plan; provide input to management team on young adult initiative goal area strategy plans in St. Johns County. Additionally, this position will be responsible for researching funding opportunities and preparing grants. This is a great opportunity for a communications, sociology or environmental studies student interested in Northeast Florida public health issues.

     

  • The Blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

    2018年9月19日 · vaping,youth,tobacco addiction,health,nicotine
    On September 12, 2018, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb declared youth vaping an “epidemic.”  Gottlieb stated that the FDA is reconsidering their overall approach after a review of preliminary data on youth vaping.  “Teenagers are becoming regular users, and the...
    2017年3月29日
    What would you do if you owned a business that made $35 billion in profit in just one year? If you are like my father, he did not even know where to begin to answer that question. My dad owns a small construction company and while most may view him as successful, he will tell you that there...
    2017年3月29日 · College,smoke-free,florida
    Approximately 13 percent of young adults in the U.S. between the ages of 18-24 smoke and as documented by the 2016 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, almost no one starts smoking after age 25. Tobacco use peaks from 18-25 years of age. 99% of cigarette smokers begin by the age of 25. College...
  • Members

    Meet our leaders! Want to become a member?

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    Tobacco Policy Manager:

    Mary Ann Steinberg

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    Community Engagement Specialist:

    Jacqueline Rush

  • Social Feed

    Check out our latest updates!

  • Contact Us

    Tobacco Free St. Johns

    Email: tobaccofreestjohns@gmail.com