Tobacco Free Jacksonville Coalition and Tobacco Free Florida | Events

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Tobacco Free Jacksonville Coalition and Tobacco Free Florida
Events, Health

Today marks the 36th Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The Tobacco Free Jacksonville Coalition with the Duval County Health Department, the Florida Department of Health and Tobacco Free Florida are celebrating this event by encouraging Floridians to commit to being tobacco-free for 24 hours on Thursday.

The Great American Smokeout challenges smokers to plan in advance to quit smoking that day, or to use the day to make a plan to quit. A comprehensive quit plan is an essential part of a successful quit attempt. The event raises awareness about the dangers of smoking and the many effective resources available to successfully quit.


“The Tobacco-Free Jacksonville Coalition has taken great strides towards preventing tobacco initiation and improving the overall public health of Duval County residents. Currently, the coalition is working with the Northeast Florida Smoke Free Multi-Unit Housing Collaborative as well as the First Coast Apartment Association in order to provide smoke-free environments for residents of apartment communities throughout northeast Florida.” - says member of the Tobacco Free Jacksonville Coalition, Deborah  DeAngelo.


The Duval Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) president Annabelle Gonzales says the SWAT youth are challenging Duval County Tobacco users to quit for 24 hours this Thursday. “The Great American Smokeout Fall Festival on November 10th was such a great experience. It was nice to see how interested people were in what it stood for and it was a great way for SWAT to become more recognized.”



Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States.[i] Cigarette use alone results in an estimated 28,700 deaths in Florida each year.[ii] Despite the known dangers of smoking, more than 2.5 million Floridians, or 17.1 percent of the adult population, are current cigarette smokers.[iii]


But there’s good news. From 2007 to 2010, the smoking rate for adults in Florida decreased by 18.6 percent, resulting in nearly 500,000 fewer smokers. About 64 percent of adults in the state who have ever smoked have quit and there are more former smokers in Florida than current smokers.[iv]


Seven out of 10 adult smokers report that they want to quit completely.[v] In 2010, 52.8 percent of cigarette smokers in Florida made a quit attempt.[vi] Those who weren’t successful should continue trying because most former smokers make several attempts before finally quitting permanently.[vii] In fact, the average smoker attempts to quit between eight and 11 times before ultimately quitting for good.[viii]


“The Great American Smokeout is a motivating event that’s sponsored by the American Cancer Society, an invaluable partner in our efforts to support current tobacco users to quit,” said Kim Berfield, Deputy Secretary for the Florida Department of Health.  “We encourage Floridians to make this day the day they commit to quit smoking, the most important step they can take for a healthier and longer life.”


Tobacco Free Florida offers a number of free and convenient resources to help smokers quit.

  • Phone: Call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW to speak with a Quit Coach who will help you assess your addiction and help you create a personalized quit plan.
  • Online: Enroll in the Web Coach®, which will help you create your own web-based quit plan that’s right for you, visit
  • In-person: Visit the Florida Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Network’s website,, to locate your local AHEC and sign up for Quit Smoking Now group classes.
Events, Health

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