The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified Tobacco as one of 6 Winnable Battles where we can make a significant progress in improving public health outcomes in a relatively short time-frame.
With the help of a federal grant for tobacco prevention and control in our community, the Orange County Health Department and community partners are working to develop a framework to implement comprehensive smoke-free air policies. This grant award is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative. OCHD will be implementing smoke-free policies at each health department campus. This initiative called all in will:
• Inform and educate the community on the importance of tobacco-free environments
• Encourage medical providers to adopt the Ask. Advise. Refer. (AAR) intervention initiative to promote cessation services to their patients
• Reduce exposure to second-hand smoke by raising awareness of the health threats that second-hand smoke poses to others and increasing motivation to quit
• Monitor air quality of indoor and outdoor facilities that allow smoking
• Support the adoption of tobacco-free policies, and promote the use of the Florida Quitline cessation services
The Orange County Health Department also works to promote a tobacco-free atmosphere through the Orange County Tobacco Free Partnership and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT). The Tobacco Free Partnership’s goal is to:
• Prevent initiation of tobacco use among youth and young adults
• Increase restriction on minors' access to tobacco and reduce tobacco industry influence
• Eliminate second-hand smoke exposure
• Promote cessation and increase the use of cessation services
SWAT is Florida's statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. It is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future. OCHD currently has six (6) SWAT Chapters. Five are operating out of community centers and one private school. They are as follows: Boys and Girls Club, Jackson Community Center, Orlo-Vista Park, Pine Castle Christian Academy, Callahan Community Center, and Wadeview Community Center.
Partnering agencies working with the health department include the American Lung Association: http://www.lungusa.org/associations/states/florida/ and the
Center for Multicultural Wellness and Prevention: http://www.cmwp.org/
Helping smokers quit is an important opportunity to not only save lives, but also save Florida money. The American Lung Association estimates that providing smoking cessation treatments can save the state $44.1 million dollars a year. OCHD provides, through federal and state tobacco programs, proven evidence-based strategies to help …. thereby reducing chronic diseases. For every dollar invested, we save $5.60 in health care cost.