Highlights: Florida

Florida continues to experience remarkable success in reducing smoking rates among its residents in recent years. In 2013, only 2.6 percent of middle school and 8.6 percent of high school students reported smoking a cigarette at least once during the past 30 days. Since the Tobacco Free Florida program launched in 2007, there are about 70,000 fewer youth smokers and 272,000 fewer youth exposed to secondhand smoke. The progress seen in Florida is consistent with the nationwide trends of decreases in cigarette use and increases in smokefree policies. The American Lung Association in Florida continues to be at the forefront of tobacco-related issues and a leader in fighting for policies that address tobacco use by children, smoking in public places and helping those addicted to tobacco quit for good.

During the 2013 Legislative Session, the Lung Association, along with our partners, continued its work maintaining the integrity of a state constitutional amendment requiring the Florida Legislature to allocate at least 15 percent of the state's annual tobacco settlement payments to a tobacco prevention program. The Lung Association successfully safeguarded these funds from allocation to special projects not intended by the state law and ensured certain key programs were maintained.

The Fiscal Year 2013-2014 state budget included $65,640,769 for the Florida-wide Tobacco Education and Use Prevention Program, as well as language that permitted the Florida Department of Health to offer nicotine replacements and other treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat tobacco dependence. The legislature also required all contracts awarded through the program to include performance measures and measurable outcomes and be based on several factors, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control.

The Lung Association is the lead agency of the Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance, whose goal is to educate employers on the health and economic benefits of providing tobacco cessation coverage for their workforce. In partnership with the Florida Department of Health, the Alliance maintains an educational website and works statewide, as well as with the 67 county tobacco-free partnerships, on this important health initiative.

Florida's Clean Indoor Air Act preempts local governments from enacting laws stronger than the state. Although the Act was amended in 2011 to authorize district school boards to adopt rules prohibiting any person from smoking tobacco on, or in, any district-owned or district-leased facility or property, many are frustrated that it still does not allow them to protect children from secondhand smoke in parks and other outdoor venues.

During 2014, the American Lung Association in Florida will continue to ensure the state has a highly effective and well-funded tobacco prevention and control program, vigilantly protect the Clean Indoor Air Act and convince legislators and public officials of the value of providing adequate cessation resources for Medicaid patients and state employees.

Florida State Facts

Economic Cost Due to Smoking: $12,879,031,000
Adult Smoking Rate: 17.7%
High School Smoking Rate: 8.6%
Middle School Smoking Rate: 2.6%
Smoking Attributable Deaths: 28,607
Smoking Attributable Lung Cancer Deaths: 9,553
Smoking Attributable Respiratory Disease Deaths: 7,393

Adult smoking rate is taken from CDC's 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school and middle school smoking rates are taken from the 2013 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey.

To Get Involved, Contact:

  • American Lung Association in Florida
    6852 Belfort Oaks Pl.
    Jacksonville, FL 32216
  • 904 743 2933

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