The Tobacco Free Partnership located in Hillsborough County, with funding provided by the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida. The Tobacco Free Partnership is a county-wide coalition working to improve the health of Hillsborough County residents by reducing tobacco use, preventing tobacco use among youth, decreasing exposure to second-hand smoke, as well as educating and advocating on tobacco issues.
Past Partnership Successes and Prevention Efforts
- Tobacco use among Hillsborough County youth is than the state national average. With our Middle School at 2.2%, compared to the States average of 2.3%, and with our High Schools at 7.3%, compared to the States average of 7.5%) (Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, 2014).
- There has been a marked increase in Hillsborough County residents attempting to quit tobacco. This is made possible through collaboration efforts with Area Health Education Center by offering free tobacco cessation services (Tobacco Advisory Council, 2013).
- K-12 Policy prohibits the use of any tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, on any grounds that are owned, leased or contracted for, or used by the School Board of Hillsborough County.
Current Partnership Successes and Prevention Efforts
- In result of K-12 policy, the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Hillsborough County has collaborated with the University of Tampa and the University of South Florida to support both college campuses becoming 100% Tobacco-Free (University of South Florida, January 2016 & University of Tampa, August 2016).
- From October 1st, 2015-December 31st, 2016, Partnership members conducted a total of 98 tobacco environmental scans within Hillsborough County. The Partnership is currently training community members and volunteers on Tobacco Marketing at the retail point of sale and the need for policy change.
- There is an emergence of new flavored tobacco products and their advertisements towards youth. Flavored products such as hookah, smokeless tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes) attract youth. Per the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (2011), in Florida, one in six youth between the ages of 11-17 had ever tried flavored tobacco.
- Lastly, limited tobacco ordinances within Hillsborough County and across the state of Florida. Current ordinances, allow tobacco products to be placed on or near the checkout counter. This type of placements allows youth to have a “self-service” approach, which allows easy access to those under the age of 18.
Name: Elisabeth Bublitz, Community Coordinator/Tobacco Policy Manager
Hillsborough Country Anti-Drug Alliance: WWW.HCADA.COM