Youth Prevention


One of Tobacco Free Alachua’s goals is to prevent youth and young adults from starting to use tobacco products. Click to learn more about our current initiatives:

Students Working Against Tobacco

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is a united movement of empowered students working toward a tobacco-free future. Its mission is to mobilize, educate, unite, and equip Florida youth to revolt against and deglamorize manipulative Big Tobacco companies.

Tobacco Free Alachua involves local SWAT clubs in its policy work when pertinent. It currently has local clubs located in:

  • Buchholz High School
  • Eastside High School
  • Gainesville High School

If you are interested in joining, please contact your school activities coordinator. For general information regarding SWAT, please visit the State of Florida SWAT website.

Visit Tobacco Free Florida Teens for more information.

Candy-Flavored Tobacco Products

Candy-flavored tobacco products are proven to entice youth. In Florida, one in six kids between the ages of 11 and 17 have tried candy-flavored tobacco. Unfortunately, youth also believe these products are less harmful than unflavored tobacco products.

Sweet Deception

Alachua County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) created the “Sweet Deception” art and research gallery to show how candy-flavored tobacco products are blatantly targeted at youth. SWAT members took photographs of candy-flavored tobacco products and used them to conduct interviews that document Alachua County residents’ perceptions of how the products may appeal to youth.  The study was part of a 2011 research collaboration between the Alachua County Health Department and the University of Florida.

Visit Tobacco Free Florida Teens for more information.

Tobacco-Free Schools

Comprehensive tobacco control policies instilled in K-12 schools can be one of the most effective ways to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco, and to keep them safe from exposure to secondhand smoke. Schools that are not tobacco-free send conflicting messages to students about the dangers of tobacco and secondhand smoke. It is important to continue teaching Florida’s youth about socially responsible and healthy behaviors, including not using tobacco.

In 2011, the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act gave school boards the authority to designate all district property as tobacco-free. We applaud the Alachua County School Board for its forward thinking and for taking initiative to instill such policies prior to this amendment. All Alachua County schools are entirely tobacco-free.

The Alachua County School Board tobacco-free policy

Visit Tobacco Free Florida Schools for more information.


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