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Tobacco Free Florida: Smoking continues 10 year decline in Florida

May 12th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
Smoking and other forms of tobacco use are expensive.
Not only for the user, but for Florida taxpayers. as a whole.
Getting that message across is the focus of this year’s Tobacco Free Florida Week campaign.
A pack of cigarettes in Florida costs between 5 and 7 dollars.
A pack a day smoker will spend 21 hundred dollars this year.
Over five years, Tobacco Free Florida says over ten thousand  will go up in smoke.
“If you stop smoking you’re going to save that money out of your bank account and you’re also going to save a lot of money in healthcare costs for yourself and for the state,” said Kellie O’Dare with Tobacco Free Florida.
Ten years ago, one in five adults and one in ten teens were lighting up.
Since then, smoking rates have dropped dramatically.
“We have about 15 percent of Florida’s adults who are still smoking and only about 3% of youth,” said O’Dare.
Tobacco Free Florida says 159 thousand people have quit over the last ten years.
Taxpayers have saved 17 billion in medical care.
Although smoking state-wide is down, rates remain over 19 percent in fourteen, mostly rural counties.
“A lot of research shows that the tobacco industries target vulnerable populations. So minorities, low income,” said tobacco prevention specialist, Dr. Kevin Frentz.
One recent trend alarming to the organization is the use of E-cigarettes and vape pens as an avenue to quit smoking.
Neither e cigarettes or vape pens are FDA approved. Tobacco Free Florida says they’re not effective.
“Because of the turnaround time for us to find whether there’s any problem, it could take a generation,” said Frentz.
Tobacco Free Florida provides free patches, counseling and other help for smokers looking to quit.
Their website also offers a calculator for smokers to see how much their habit costs.
For more information on Tobacco Free Florida or information on how to quit smoking visit their website at tobaccofreeflorida.com.

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