Quit Doc Awarded 11 Grants in Florida to Provide Tobacco Awareness and Education Programs

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Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 with the mission to reduce the number of deaths in the United States from tobacco use and abuse. The 11 grant-funded programs are designed to reduce the number of teenagers who start smoking each year, to decrease the number of tobacco related deaths, and to provide information on appropriate methods to quit smoking.

“Use of traditional tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, and spit tobacco are now at historic lows in the state among all age groups,” reports Dr. Barry Hummel.

Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation has been awarded 11 grants from the State of Florida Department of Health to continue to provide tobacco awareness and prevention programs throughout Florida.

Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 with the mission to reduce the number of deaths in the United States from tobacco use and abuse. The 11 grant-funded programs are designed to reduce the number of teenagers who start smoking each year, to decrease the number of tobacco related deaths, and to provide information on appropriate methods to quit smoking.

The program is funded from a trust fund created with money paid to Florida as part of a settlement with the tobacco industry in 1997. Florida sued the tobacco industry to recoup the cost of providing medical services to Florida residents that were caused by the use of tobacco. The funding has been used to create Tobacco Free Florida, a comprehensive statewide tobacco prevention and cessation program.

“The Tobacco Free Florida program has been incredibly successful at reducing tobacco use among youth and adults in Florida,” reports Dr. Barry Hummel, a Pediatrician who co-founded QuitDoc. “Use of traditional tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, and spit tobacco are now at historic lows in the state among all age groups.”

Tobacco Free Florida funds a local program in each of Florida’s 67 counties to focus on tobacco prevention issues that are unique to each community. In January 2015, QuitDoc was re-awarded the grant for 10 counties they’ve worked in for 3 years or more: DeSoto, Okeechobee, Highlands, Martin, Indian River, Marion, Clay, Gilchrist, Dixie, and Levy counties. They also acquired one new grant in Columbia County.

For each County, QuitDoc employs a Tobacco Prevention Specialist to manage the program and facilitate a county Tobacco Free Partnership, a coalition of community leaders that work together on tobacco issues that affect residents, particularly youth and senior citizens.

The Partnerships will be working on several initiatives to reduce youth access to tobacco products, to reduce illnesses caused by exposure to secondhand smoke, and to promote tobacco cessation services throughout the county.

There is also an active youth program in each county to work on these same issues. The Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Program has been an active part of tobacco control in Florida since the original settlement. Florida’s SWAT Program has been a model for other states, and remains a very effective youth prevention program.

All programs are provided free-of-charge to participating schools or organizations. Interested groups or individuals can obtain more information, or schedule a program, by calling 904-531-9155 or visiting http://www.qdref.org.

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Dr. Barry Hummel
QuitDoc
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