News and Events

Marion County Youth Tobacco Use Rates are at All-Time Lows!
February 3, 2015

The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) is administered annually in every county in Florida and is used to evaluate the impact of Tobacco Free Florida, the state’s program to prevent and reduce tobacco use. In Marion County, QuitDoc has been the grantee of Tobacco Free Florida since 2012 and was just awarded the grant funding for the next three years, through 2018. The Florida Departments of Children and Families, Education, Health, and Juvenile Justice have co-sponsored the FYTS annually for the past 16 years.

County level data is collected every even-numbered year, and the results from the 2014 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey were recently published. There is a lot to celebrate in Marion County! The Tobacco Free Partnership, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT), and community partners who support the tobacco prevention program have been hard at work educating people, promoting tobacco cessation, and reducing secondhand smoke exposure by advocating for new policies throughout the county.

Marion FYTS Data

Since 2010, Marion County middle school students have reported a significant decrease in tobacco use for all areas, including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless, and all types of tobacco combined. Tobacco use is also declining across the board for high school students in Marion. The biggest declines were seen in cigarette use for both middle and high school students. The percentages of middle and high school students who reported exposure to secondhand smoke, mostly in the home, also declined from 2010 to 2014.

High School
2010
2014
Percent Change
Cigarettes
15.5%
8.7%
-43.9%
Cigars 
15.8%
9.6%
-39.2%
Smokeless
7.8%
5.9%
-24.3%
Any Form
24.9%
17.3%
-30.5%
Secondhand Smoke Exposure
58.4%
48.5%
-17.0%

Middle School
2010
2014
Percent Change
Cigarettes
8.9%
2.1%
-76.4%
Cigars 
6.0%
2.8%
-53.3%
Smokeless
4.0%
1.2%
-70.0%
Any Form
13.8%
4.3%
-68.8%
Secondhand Smoke Exposure
52.8%
42.0%
-20.5%

The data shows us that SWAT, the Tobacco Free Partnership, and community partners serving youth are making a difference with the work that we do. Additionally, policy interventions such as tobacco free multi-unit housing, tobacco product placement ordinances, and flavored tobacco resolutions are reducing youth exposure to secondhand smoke and reducing youth access to flavored tobacco in convenience stores. All of these elements are working together to keep more Marion County youth tobacco free.  These numbers matter because they represent real children and real lives.

What we have accomplished is worth celebrating, but we can’t afford to rest now. Tobacco companies have new products on the market every year and find new ways to get to our youth—their primary targets.  We know that youth in Marion County are trying and using products like e-cigarettes and hookah on a regular basis. While we celebrate our successes, we will also use the lessons we’ve learned over the past few years to continue working towards a tobacco free future for youth in Marion County.

For a full report on the 2014 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey Resuilts for Marion County, click here.