We know the deadly consequences of tobacco use in Hendry County and we encourage our students to never to start. Unfortunately, this advice is not as effective if the people who give it don't back it up.
It has been stated by countless youth in Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) chapter about faculty, staff, parents and visitors smoking or using tobacco near or on school grounds.
Tobacco free schools are an important step to building a healthier future for all of us. That's why it's time for Hendry County School District to move forward with a 100% Comprehensive Tobacco-Free Policy by working to approve the recommendations set forth by the Center's for Disease Control. These policies create a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors while sending a clear message about the dangers of tobacco use and that tobacco doesn't belong in our schools or on our campuses.
In the United States, nearly nine out of 10 smokers start by age 18. In Florida, more than 18,900 kids (under 18) become new cigarette smokers each year. Tobacco use initiation often leads to a lifetime of addiction, resulting in devastating diseases, and early death. In fact, one of three youth who continue to smoke will die early because of smoking.
That's why a clearer message needs to be sent. We can look at neighboring, Glades County School Distict and other surrounding counties as an example. They don't allow tobacco-use on any School Distirct property during school or at any events held on school property and a plan to help adults quit tobacco and provide educational support to students has been outlined.
The Hendry Tobacco-Free Partnership and SWAT want our schools to be 100% tobacco free - inside and out! Join us in taking a stand against tobacco in Hendry County. Additionally, Florida has a notable youth-led movement (SWAT) and a statewide media campaign driven by powerful advertisements that demonstrate the dangers and real-life consequences of tobacco use, inspiring Floridians to quit and encouraging youth to never begin.
Your voice is important. Let's eliminate tobacco in our schools today and prevent our youth from starting a lifetime of addiction.
For more information or to get involved in this initiative or others, you may contact the Hendry Tobacco-Free Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-submitted by Hendry Tobacco-Free Partnership