Tobacco Free Florida and the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Encourage Tobacco Users to Quit Smoking on Great American Smokeout

This press release published at the request of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County

In observance of the Great American Smokeout (Thursday, November 16, 2017), the American Cancer Society, Tobacco Free Florida, and the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County encourage tobacco users to make a plan to quit smoking.

The Great American Smokeout raises awareness about the dangers of smoking and the many effective resources available to help smokers successfully quit.

The health and financial costs of smoking are well documented and staggering:

  • Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Florida and the U.S. 
  • On average, smokers die ten years earlier than nonsmokers.
  • For every person who dies, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. 
  • About 30 percent of cancer deaths in Florida are caused by cigarette smoking.
  • A pack-a-day smoker in Florida can spend more than $2,100 in one year and more than $10,500 in five years.

Today, businesses and organizations across the County are using the Great American Smokeout to educate their employees about the true cost of tobacco use and Tobacco Free Florida’s free resources for people who want to quit tobacco. Participating local employers include:

  • Alachua County Housing Authority
  • City of Gainesville
  • Florida Department of Health in Alachua County
  • Gainesville Housing Authority
  • Infinite Energy
  • Santa Fe College
  • UF Health
  • University of Florida

Florida residents can use this national observance as a chance to remind colleagues, friends, or loved ones how Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program makes it easier than ever for tobacco users to access free tools and services to help them quit. More than 159,000 Floridians have successfully quit tobacco using one of these free services. Visit the Tobacco Free Florida website for more information. Smokers can also access Tobacco Free Florida’s online Cost Calculator to find out how much money they could save by quitting.

The Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund.

For more information, contact Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Health Communication Specialist John Gonzales at 352-334-7914 or

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