Media Release

Students Unveil Anti-Tobacco Mural

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 1:00 AM

2 p.m.

Sent on behalf of the Florida Dept. of Health, Alachua County Office

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - On Saturday, May 17th, from 2 p.m. to 4 pm student activists from Alachua and Levy Counties will join community members in the unveiling of an updated community anti-tobacco mural.  The mural, located on the west side of the Stein Mart building, 6111 W Newberry Road, Gainesville,  is a dedication to the strong commitment of the community to anti-tobacco efforts.

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable premature death in the United States, killing approximately 440,000 people each year.  Along with the cost of human life, tobacco also contributes significantly to health care costs each year.  It is approximated that Florida spends $6.32 billion annually for tobacco health care costs, and individual households are estimated to incur a $585 annual tax burden to cover state and federal tobacco related expenses.  The economic costs for excess medical expenditures and loss in productivity amount to $3,391 per smoker per year.

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is an organization that students between the ages of 12 and 18 can join to participate in activities and events that support the Florida Tobacco Prevention Program.  The Florida Tobacco Prevention Program is funded by the State of Florida through the Tobacco Settlement of 1997 and Amendment 4, which was adopted in November, 2006, requiring funding of a Comprehensive Statewide Tobacco Prevention Program.  The Amendment resulted in the implementation of legislation that is codified in 381.84, Florida Statutes.

For more information in Alachua County contact Jessica Elf, Alachua County Health Dept., at 352-334-7900 x 3623

In Levy County contact Kristina Zachry at 352-486-3404







  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).