News and Events

QuitDoc Awarded Tobacco Prevention Grant for Clay County
February 6, 2015

Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation (QuitDoc) has once again been awarded a grant from the State of Florida Department of Health to continue to provide tobacco awareness and prevention programs throughout Clay County.  The 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.”

2014 FYTS Youth Rates

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 Clay County, the program is currently managed by Joseph O'Hern, the county’s Tobacco Prevention Specialist since July 2012.  He also facilitates the Tobacco Free Partnership of Clay County, a coalition of community leaders that works together on tobacco issues that affect the residents of Clay County, particularly its most vulnerable residents: youth and senior citizens.

The Partnership 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 will also be an active youth program 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. Joseph O'Hern can be reached directly at johern@quitdoc.com.  Additional information is also available at www.tfp-clay.org.