Kicks-Off Tobacco Free Florida Week Across The State March 28 through April 2..


March 30, 2011


Tobacco Free Florida Helps Save Lives and Money: 500,000 Fewer Tobacco Users in Just Three Years>;

The observance celebrates the state's progress in reducing smoking rates across the state, as well as significant decreases in personal and state healthcare expenditures. The theme for this year's Tobacco Free Florida: Saving Lives, Saving Money.

During this time period, from 2006 to 2009, annual personal healthcare expenditures related to smoking have declined by $1 billion and as much as $4.2 billion in total personal healthcare expenditures have been saved as a result of the reduction in adult smoking rates(3). Lower healthcare costs mean more funds available for investment in business assets and a healthier workforce, which equals increased productivity. In addition, those former smokers are no longer spending money on tobacco products, allowing that money to be spent in other ways for their families, totaling hundreds to thousands of dollars each year per smoker.

"We see more and more tobacco products every day and too many young people are still getting hooked," said Kahreem Golden (Putnam County), Youth Advocacy Board Chair of SWAT. "Today, even though cigarette manufacturers are banned from selling candy-flavored cigarettes, candy flavored tobacco is readily available and comes in a variety of flavors that appeal to kids, yet many think they are harmless."

Reference: Tobacco Free Florida Helps Save Lives and Money: 500,000 Fewer Tobacco Users in Just Three Years, PR Newswire, 3/29/2011.,/B>

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