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Tobacco Free Florida Posts Gains In Smoker Cessation

Tobacco Free Florida
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Fewer people are smoking now than ever before.

Tobacco Free Florida, which was created a decade ago, can take some credit for that.

There are now 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there were 10 years ago. The rate of young people who smoke has fallen from 10 percent to 3 percent.

Some estimates say that has saved more than $17 billion in smoking-related health care costs.

But Tobacco Free Florida spokeswoman Shannon Hughes says there's work to be done with nearly 16 percent of adults still smoking.

"Our vision is to someday reach a point where we truly are tobacco free in Florida and we want to do that through freedom of choice. We want people to choose a tobacco free lifestyle."

Voters passed a constitutional amendment creating Tobacco Free Florida. With advertising, education and prevention programs, it has helped nearly 160,000 Floridians quit smoking.

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.