Student Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is Making Changes
August 20, 2017

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT), is making changes in Marion County and at the state level. The most prominent change being an over-night summit. The club has hosted over-night summits in the past, but this was the first in several years. The new lead for the state program has promised to continue to improve the experience for SWAT youth, and adult attendees at summits and seminars in the coming years. SWAT offers several opportunities for youth to demonstrate leadership and master the empowerment model. This year’s summit opportunity was expanded in the form of a two-night stay at the Lake Yale Conference Center and Camp. Youth and adults were provided a one of a kind lesson in subject focused team building. SWAT is the team, and curbing tobacco’s influence is the lesson.

The Marion County youth selected to attend this summit were happy to be a part of this change. While at the summit, the youth explored various policies that could be targeted for making tobacco use and sales changes at the state level and locally using the MAD (Message Audience Delivery) Skills model. They had several breakout sessions that geared them towards honing specific methods to fight Big Tobacco. One youth said he learned more than the topic of tobacco during the breakouts, “In the DIY sessions, I learned a lot about power point, stuff I didn’t even know you could do.” He was very excited to share with his family his knew knowledge on tobacco, and the skills he will use in a variety of school assignments.

Locally, Marion County SWAT is introducing a new coordinator starting September 22nd. Tammy Slaughter has worked for the QuitDoc Foundation, the local experts on tobacco education, research, and policy for a year. She has demonstrated the necessary knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject area, and better still has developed community partner relationships. She will not only be the new SWAT coordinator, but additionally, the new Student Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) coordinator. Last year, SWAT and SADD partnered in school and clubs launching side by side for the first time in Marion County. The SADD program covers everything from drugs to drunk driving, and SWAT was a perfect partner to assist in tobacco education and prevention for the SADD model.    

Tammy has already worked at several events in support of SWAT, and is looking forward to the 2017/2018 SWAT summit, and events. Her ability to be flexible, communicate well with community partners and youth, and be a knowledgeable role model is irreplaceable. QuitDoc Foundation is pleased to have her in this new role, and working with our community’s youth for SWAT and SADD.

If you would like more information on the Tobacco Prevention Program, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT), or the QuitDoc Foundation, please contact the Marion County Tobacco Prevention Specialist Lauren Walter at 352.598.8241 or LWalter@QuitDoc.com.