How Gainesville, Florida is Helping its Community to Quit Smoking and Why?
The city is set in the heart of North Central Florida. In addition, it is the proud home of the University of Florida and their Fighting Gators. The city of Gainesville is developing strategies to reach the state’s number 1 as the healthiest community. In order to achieve this, the city will have to get people to quit smoking through various practices.
The city’s Quit Your Way Campaign is under the leadership of Tobacco Free Florida. They are offering very helpful tools to help their citizens to quit smoking. In fact, they are trying to do so both in English and Spanish. However, it didn’t prove efficient enough statewide, unfortunately. This is because tobacco companies are targeting rural, lower income areas.
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What Gainesville Do To Discourage Smoking In Public
Given this obstacle, which steps can Gainesville introduce to keep the lungs of its citizens tobacco-free? That is the main question.
First, they are trying some simple experimental steps. The city has introduced signs discouraging smoking in public parks. This is because of the fact that National Geographic Adventure has selected Gainesville as one of the best places to live. It is due to its trails, greenery, and wildlife. Therefore, it is no wonder that Andrew Romero can state, “…we’re used to seeing ourselves as No. 1 and a healthier community”. He is the health policy program manager for the Florida Department of Health.
In addition, the city are about to introduce educational campaigns for the park staff. As a result, they can further educate others. In fact, the aim of these actions is to strengthen community partnership. This way, the relationship building will make it easier to enact some actions. For example, getting people to quit smoking.
The City Plans To Raise Age Limit To Purchase Tobacco
In this case, they will raise the age limit allowed to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. In 2014, the Florida Department of Health conducted a Florida Youth Tobacco Survey by counties. Alachua County, the location of Gainesville, had about 9.5% of youth from ages 11 to 17 consuming various forms of tobacco. Furthermore, 36.5 of them had exposure to secondhand smoke. This was according to the survey.
Analyses showed that children being exposed to the act of their parents’ smoking might lead them to smoking as well. This strategy aims to spark more responsible behavior, by shifting consuming age from the young to young adults. They will keep this up until, hopefully, nobody will start smoking in the first place.
So far, their practices have already started to prove fruitful. However, the future will show whether further actions will bring Gainesville back to number 1.