News and Events

2016 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) Results Show Progress in Clay County
December 1, 2016

We are excited to announce the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey Results for Clay County, as well as the statewide data for 2016 is in! The Tobacco Free Partnership of Clay County and Clay County SWAT Students look forward to these results every other year!

The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) was administered in the spring of 2016. A total of 753 public high schools and middle schools in the 67 Florida counties participated in the FYTS. There were 69,640 students who participated in the 2016 FYTS; 33,558 at the high school level and 36,082 at the middle school level. This data is way for public health professionals, students, teachers, parents, and the public to explore data pertaining to youth tobacco use.

In Clay County, we are happy to announce an overall 6% decrease in youth who have tried cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco. In fact, there was a 6.2% drop in those that have tried cigarettes, 6.7% drop in those that have tried cigars and a 3.4% drop in those that have tried smokeless tobacco.

Additionally, we saw similar drops in the percentage of youth who currently use cigarettes (2.4% decrease), cigars (3.6% decrease) and smokeless (2.6% decrease). For years, tobacco prevention has been at the forefront of providing education and information to decrease the use of tobacco in the Country, State of Florida and in Clay County. It seems the work continues to pay off as we have seen a decrease in cigarettes, cigars and smokeless for several years now.

However, the rising epidemic of electronic cigarettes and vaping that Big Tobacco has created is wreaking havoc on the hard work that we have done to minimize tobacco use in this country. We are seeing these effects nationwide, statewide and throughout Clay County. In fact, since 2014 there has been an 9.6% increase in the percentage of youth in Clay County who currently use electronic vaping, and a 10.5% increase in the percentage of youth in Clay County who have ever tried electronic vaping.

“We are pleased to see the decrease in traditional tobacco products, but it worries us to see the huge jumps in the number of our youth that are electronic vaping. We have our work cut out for us with even bigger hurdles to overcome, but we will continue to provide more education and information to our youth and hope that the message is heard loud and clear in Clay County,” said Lea Rhoden, Community Health Advocate with QuitDoc Foundation.

While we are highly disappointed in the rise of electronic vaping, we are extremely proud that our Clay County youth had an increase in the number of youth who are committed to never using cigarettes, which is now up to 83.5%. Moreover, our growing relationship with the Clay County School District has helped decrease the usage of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and electronic vapors on school property.

“We have a lot to be thankful for, but we also have a lot of work to do. The Tobacco Free Partnership of Clay County and the Clay County SWAT Chapter is committed to making Clay a healthier, tobacco-free county,” said Joy Moritz, SWAT Coordinator with QuitDoc Foundation.

If you would like the full report on the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, more information on how to get involved or have any questions, please contact Lea Rhoden at or (904) 237-4691.